February 2012 Newsletter:
Compulsory health survey asks intimate
questions; ABS asked to justify stance

The Australian Bureau of Statistics is raising people’s hackles with its intrusive, intimate and compulsory health survey, currently in the field. CLA and the Australian Privacy Foundation are asking the Australian Statistician whether the ABS has complied with all the parliamentary steps needed before such a survey is authorised to be mandatory. Other government departments – Attorney-General’s, the spy agencies, Resources and Energy – are coming under increased scrutiny for their secretive ways and expanding surveillance of citizens.

The way the Australian Tax Office operates, and ASIO’s unaccountability, are worrying indicators of deleterious trends in governance to the detriment of Australians. The ‘disease’ is filtering down to state governments where one politician wants to ban a music festival he doesn’t like, and police are demanding more powers whenever they can’t catch criminals breaking already-existing laws. In general, the wave of citizen repression by the state in Australia is building momentum.

Other items in this issue include:

  • Mystery yacht death: appeal decision due;
  • CLA member seeks help with refugee health survey;
  • The Tax Office? No, the Taxi Rank;
  • Report on CLA’s latest submissions to government;
  • Are West’s non-judicial killings justified?;
  • Jamaica? No, she’s dropping the Queen of her own accord;
  • August panel recommends limited right-to-die;
  • US Justice Department sides with plaintiff, not the police;
  • Blacks stopped/searched 30 times more than whites; and
  • Facebook to cost civil servant five years in jail.

A pdf version is available here » …

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