Privacy and the Internet

Privacy and the Internet Policy

"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized". - 4th Amendment US Constitution

Privacy

Edward Snowden recently revealed extensive links between the National Security Agency (in America) and the Australian government. The ASP finds these revelations deeply disturbing and a direct threat to the sovereignty of our nation and to the rights of all Australians.

The ASP is strongly opposed to the mutation of Australia into a "surveillance state", and we believe that:

  • All people have a basic right to privacy.
  • Any intrusion into our privacy should only be allowed where there is probable cause of criminal conduct.
  • If the government (or any agency) stores personal data - then it must disclose what data is stored and for what purpose.
  • Every individual must have the right to review their personal data that is stored.
  • Whistle-blowers must be afforded adequate protection.
  • All personal communications (including emails and voice calls) should be on a secure basis.

 

The Internet

Wikipedia states that internet censorship is the control or suppression of what can be accessed, published, or viewed on the internet. They even provide examples - such as "sites that include political satire". And herein lies the rub - under the guise of protecting children from pornography, "political satire" and eventually political opposition will be blocked.

The internet is neutral - it is neither good nor evil in itself. It is only people (who utilise it for their own purpose) that give it intent. By allowing "the camel to stick its nose into the tent", it is just a matter of time before the whole camel is inside the tent. For this reason - the ASP believes that the internet should not be blocked - and that there are sufficient laws to prosecute pornographers and people who incite hate, violence etc.

The police do have at their disposal technologies that can reveal the source of web sites and emails. Pretending that they are technically illiterate, and hence in need of sweeping internet powers to block sites and to restrict free speech, is intellectually dishonest.

Finally - parents who are concerned about their children gaining access to unwelcome online content, should exercise their parental rights and purchase internet filtering software so as to restrict access. Australia should be neither a nanny state nor a surveillance state.

"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety". - Benjamin Franklin

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