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Data retention goes back underground as campaign turns up the heat

Australian Greens communications spokesperson Senator Scott Ludlam will table a petition in the Senate tomorrow circulated by Pirate Party Australia and comprising 1447 signatures raising serious concerns about proposed changes to national security laws.

The signatories have presented objections to the proposals under discussion by the Joint Standing Committee on Intelligence and Security Inquiry into potential reforms of National Security Legislation (#natsecinquiry).

"98.9 per cent of the five and a half thousand submissions received by the Committee are opposed to the unnecessary and dangerously vague data retention proposal and other draconian ideas suggested by the Attorney General's Department," said Senator Ludlam.

Pirate Party Secretary Brendan Molloy said, "The petitioners object to penalties for failing to provide computer passwords and near unrestricted interception of communications, as well as the appallingly short window of time provided by the Committee to make a submission, of which the Pirate Party campaigned for an extension."

"The Pirate Party and the signatories to our petition believe that law enforcement agencies should be not be able to apply indiscriminate and wholesale surveillance to the Australian public. Data retention is fraught with danger. It is not a matter of if the data leaks, but when, as documents gained through freedom of information requests have reinforced."

Senator Ludlam said he was happy to table the petition which "demolishes the case for data retention and calls on the Government to reject any plan that will undermine due process, privacy, and the presumption of innocence".

"Warrants exist for a reason. Judicial oversight of law enforcement exists for a reason. We cannot abandon the hard-won rights fundamental to a liberal democracy," Senator Ludlam concluded.

Pirate Party Petition - http://pirateparty.org.au/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/natsecinquiry-petition-frontpage.pdf

Senator Ludlam's motion before the Senate -  http://scott-ludlam.greensmps.org.au/content/motions/motion-data-retention

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