The article examines the call for increased police powers to combat criminal cyber-activity and the need to protect civil liberties.
Policing agencies are under increasing pressure to keep up with the unprecedented volume and diversity of data-enabled criminal activity. In Australia, the push to respond more effectively has led to calls to provide policing and intelligence agencies with greater powers. In this article, Teagan Westendorf makes the following points:
- Police powers should not be increased without due process and debate.
- The recent success of Operation Ironside has prompted questions about whether policing and intelligence agencies need greater powers to police the Internet.
- Four new bills seeking to increase AFP powers have been put to parliament since 2018.
- Three are still before the parliament.
- One bill passed—TOLA—making it mandatory for industry to decrypt and hand over encrypted data.
- A rigorous debate is necessary to ensure civil liberties are protected before the remaining three bills are put to the vote.
- Nov 2020 ASPI Covid-19 is accelerating the surveillance state
- Mar 2021 ASPI Australia needs a Magnitsky Act
- May 2021 ABCNEWS Threat of major cyber attack on critical infrastructure real, national security boss warns
- June 2021 ABCNews Home Affairs boss wants to tackle cybercrime like the British Navy fought pirates
- June 2021 Defence Connect Government to strengthen Australia’s capability to counter cyber crime
- June 2021 ABCNEWS Cyber attacks on rise as criminals target Australian agricultural supply chains