The Government and ‘Opposition' today used their combined numbers to vote down a senate motion acknowledging a key US legal finding that mass-collection of telecommunications records was unlawful.
The motion was moved by Australian Greens communications spokesperson Senator Scott Ludlam.
"This motion called on the Senate, which just months ago passed a data retention scheme, to acknowledge the reality that the US Court of Appeals has ruled the bulk collection of telecommunications metadata by US Government agencies to be unlawful," Senator Ludlam said today.
"The US ruling is a direct result of the revelations made by Edward Snowden, in disclosing the scope of US Government surveillance programs - an action for which our own Attorney General, amongst others, have childishly branded him a traitor.
"Without the actions of Mr Snowden and other whistle blowers, the unlawful surveillance programs being conducted in the US and its Five Eyes' allies would still be operating under cover of darkness.
"Australians and users of telecommunications services everywhere have legitimate and ongoing concerns about the erosion of privacy caused by the unchecked growth of indiscriminate surveillance programs.
"These are concerns that the Liberal and Labor surveillance alliance continue to ignore, despite the growing risk of significant data breaches as a result of the scheme they forced on all of us," Senator Ludlam concluded.
*723 Senator Ludlam:
To move-That the Senate-
(a) notes that:
(i) the United States (US) Court of Appeals ruled in May 2015 that s was unlawful, and
(ii) this case was filed following revelations by Mr Edward Snowden disclosing the scope of US Government surveillance programs;
and (b) recognises:
(i) the critical work that Mr Snowden has carried out in exposing unlawful surveillance programs in the US and its ‘Five Eyes‘ allies, and
(ii) that Australians and the global community have legitimate and ongoing concerns about the erosion of privacy caused by the unchecked growth of government electronic surveillance programs.