It sounds so simple, just adopt an ID card that you must carry with you everywhere to ‘sign in’ during the Covid-19 pandemic. But how quickly would surveillance-creep go viral, and your movements be subjected to watching and recording every second of every day, all year, everywhere, by the police, spooks and governments? Massive safeguards are needed to protect our privacy and our private information, CLA says.
Are Australians losing liberties under the pandemic? There’s a strict, legal answer…and then the practical reality of what’s occurring. But the real lesson is that only eternal vigilance – and a federal Human Rights Act – will protect our freedoms. ‘The struggle for civil liberties is a journey that’s never ending,’ former High Court judge, Michael Kirby, says.
It has been reported that NSW police are accepting secret reports of sexual assault in a dangerous new type of vigilantism. Asked to comment verbally by the media, Civil Liberties Australia chose to put our concerns in writing. Here is our statement.
Australia continues to rack up more and more surveillance laws, as successive governments increasingly restrict freedoms in the name of unprovable ‘cyber threats’, the latest bogeyman of the security community, which must invent new threats continuously to maintain its huge growth rate of the past 20 years. Paul Gregoire reports.
States around Australia – Tasmania, Victoria, WA – are handing over the images of their citizens collected for a driver’s licence to be used as a national crime database. Some people and groups, including CLA, are very worried how politicians can be so cavalier about people’s personal privacy.
Privacy probably means something entirely different to you than it does to the Australian government, its police and security services. That’s why close examination of the upcoming legislation around the Covid-19 tracing app is so vital. Kelsie Nabben and Chris Berg comment.