In a reciprocal agreement, Spooks Minister Peter Dutton is about to allow open access to all Australian data about you and me to US spy and police agencies.
Australia would gain access to all data about you and me held on US-owned platforms like Google and Facebook, and emails and other data held on cloud servers by organisations like Microsoft and Apple.
The Big Brother deal, being worked up by Dutton and US Attorney-General William Barr would give Australian authorities the same powers as US police under the CLOUD Act. The euphemistically named 2018 Act – Clarifying Lawful Overseas Use of Data Act – makes it mandatory for US companies to hand over data they hold when issued with a warrant.
Under Dutton’s Big Brother deal, Australian companies likewise would have to open their data holdings on us to US spook and police authorities.
Dutton claims the agreement would allow Australia “direct access to data critical for the disruption, prevention, investigation and prosecution of serious crime”.
Civil Liberties Australia says it would also allow anyone in the Australian and/or USA establishment, even the Twittering Trump, to delve into your private life.
It’s up to the Australian Parliament to stand up for the Australian people and prevent further invasions of privacy, to extent of allowing open slather access to Americans to our private information. How long before more porous deals are done with a host of other nations, including from Asia and the Middle East?
How is this deal sneaky?
“Amnesty International, the ACLU, Human Rights Watch, and the Electronic Frontier Foundation worry that the CLOUD Act allows authorities to circumvent the (US) Fourth Amendment and violate similar protections in other countries,” Aaron Mak wrote on Slate.
“Plus, the groups argue, the human rights benchmarks are too vague for vetting countries that are allowed to request data from the US.
“As a press release from the Electronic Frontier Foundation reads, ‘The CLOUD Act would be a dangerous overreach into our data. It seeks to streamline cross-border police investigations, but it tears away critical privacy protections to attain that goal. This is not a fair trade. It is a new backdoor search loophole…’.” https://tinyurl.com/y9ndcrzh