The democratic obligation to repeal authoritarian laws

A society’s norms can shift fast. In the last decade, compulsory metadata retention for broad surveillance purposes has gone from a controversy to a scandal, to a fact of Australian life, to an insufficient power that needs to be augmented by yet more invasive ones. Military control over cryptography and other exports has gone from […]

The Senate Assurance Bill plugs a critical gap in Australian Election security

By Vanessa Teague In all the attention given to voter ID, a bill that really does improve the security of Australian Elections has gone mostly unremarked: The Electoral Legislation Amendment (Assurance of Senate Counting) Bill. The bill proposes—for the first time in Australian history—an open, statistical audit of the paper Senate ballots against the digitised […]

The Critical Infrastructure Bill is electronic search and seizure without a warrant

By Vanessa Teague Everyone agrees that the threat of cyberattack is serious, the results could be devastating, and Australia is woefully underprepared. The question is whether forced “assistance” from the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD), under orders from Home Affairs, will make us more or less secure. Critical infrastructure is not just dams and power plants — […]