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Greens persevere as Government dodges questions on TrapWire surveillance

Media Release
Scott Ludlam 15 Aug 2012

The Greens will pursue answers from the Attorney-General, Defence minister and Home Affairs minister after a Senate motion on the TrapWire surveillance system was voted down by the Government and Opposition today.

"The Government could have done this the easy way. Instead, we will have to submit formal questions on notice to the Federal Police, ASIO, Customs and Border Protection, the Department of Defence, and the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service," Greens communications spokesperson Senator Scott Ludlam said today.

"US private surveillance system 'TrapWire' is operating in parts of the UK, Canada and the USA. Its features are reputed to include the ability to centralise and aggregate data from public and private surveillance cameras and share information across networks.

"All we want to know is whether the system operates here. The questions I submit to each agency will go to whether the TrapWire system is deployed in Australia, or if its use is under consideration.

"I note that the Opposition could have supported this Greens motion, but has instead chosen to remain in cheerful ignorance, costing us at least a month before any answers will be forthcoming.

"On occasions like this when senators vote to keep themselves ignorant of basic facts, it is really important that voters then bang on their doors and ask why they voted as they did."

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