Last November, after 11 years of Neo-con rule in Australia under GWB’s "Man of Steel" know as his deputy sheriff in the South Pacific, John Howard. Progressive Australian's celebrated the return of the "Labor" government to power. Today we find that our "Labor" party doesn’t trust the workers, and instead want’s to give unprecedented power to corporations.
I remember the good feeling many expressed here, as you looked to Australia’s "lead" with hope. And saw a real possibility that could be America in 2008. Australia had gotten itself from under those fear mongering, labor hating, middle class destroying neo-cons, and had delivered a landside to a progressive government.
Australia had lived under the same type of irrational fear under Howard as American’s had with Bush. Since 911 we had two major laws passed that stripped us of basic human rights that since before federation in 1901 we had taken for granted. The freedom of court protected privacy, to the presumption of innocence, and the right of the press to report the activities of the government, especially those of arrest and trial for serious crimes against the people.
Those rights suppressed by laws that were sold "to protect our freedom", ironically by taking our freedoms away, of course in the name of fighting terrorism. Stranger too, since we had never had to endured a terrorist attack here on our soil.
I, along with many free thinking freedom loving Australian’s felt that with a Labor government back in power, Australia would at least see a respite, if not a pull back of some of these draconian measures.
Well today is a sad day.
Employers (will) be able to read their staff's emails under proposed new national security laws being considered by the Federal Government.
The new laws would give companies extra powers to monitor their computer networks to prevent cyber-attacks.
They would be allowed to check their staff's emails and internet communications without their consent.
Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard has told Channel Nine the proposed changes would step up national security of Australia's computer networks
But Dale Clapperton from internet rights watchdog Electronic Frontiers Australia says therte is no need for the proposed laws.
"These types of powers, which are currently only enjoyed by a select few agencies including ASIO, the Australian Federal Police, and organisations such as state crime and conduct commissions, shouldn't be extended to companies which are providing critical infrastructure services," he said.
It might not sound like much, but the idea that our boss can spy on us, and ultimately use it against us, is appalling, and almost every response show, as you can read by the readers comments at the end of that ABC report, that Australian’s are dead set upset and against this rather stupid and ineffective law, at least for "national security"
First the power to monitor Email and other internet communications already exists for the Federal Police (read FBI) ASIO (read CIA) and DSD (read NSA). They can obtain a warrant and track any communications they want.
So any critical thinker has to ponder why this Labor party thinks it is necessary for employers to act as spies for the government. Something they are neither trained nor have the responsibility for.
And why the government believes it can trust corporations more than the average citizen is also astounding, considering the world of industrial espionage. Unless this proposed law has nothing to do with terrorism at all, and everything to do with corporate power.
The National Broadcaster, ABC TV, didn’t even hide the implication with its graphic on the evening news, in the corner a picture of a computer keyboard, and the words "Big Brother".
Let this be a warning to American’s. As the British and Australian people have learnt, our freedoms are under attack regardless of who we vote for. I myself am confused, angry and dare I say bitter (thanks Obama), that our freedoms are under attack by a man I trusted, Kevin Rudd and the Australian Labor Party.