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Parliament must draw the line on surveillance overkill

The Government is running out of places to hide as the diplomatic fallout widens over Australia's uncritical subservience to US surveillance overreach.

When Parliament resumes next week the Greens will seek support from the Attorney General and Shadow Attorney General for a wide ranging public inquiry similar to that occurring in many countries including the US and some of our closest allies.

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Extreme Coalition schemes to sell Australia Post and HECS debts herald the “Age of Unreason”

The Abbott Government is degenerating into extremism and harebrained schemes, the Greens warned today after the revelation the Coalition was considering privatising Australia Post and student debt.

Greens communications spokesperson Senator Scott Ludlam said the Government should rule out privatising Australia Post.

"Millions of Australians rely on Australia Post for an essential service - particularly with the now vast online retail sector. Privatisation will see corners cut and costs raised," said Senator Ludlam.

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Public must come first in review of NBN

The public interest must come first in the review of the NBN, the Greens said today.

Greens communications spokesperson Senator Scott Ludlam said that telecommunications users, advocacy groups and industry must be consulted and the review of the NBN made open and accountable to the public.

"Malcolm Turnbull has purged the board and might seek to remake the NBN in his own image, but the NBN is public infrastructure paid for by the Australian people - and the public have a right to know what is happening and to make their voices heard.

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Greens stand up for community radio

The Australian Greens will call on the Federal Government to fund community broadcasters' digital radio services in Parliament today, marking the national day of action for community radio.

Greens communications spokesperson Senator Scott Ludlam and Greens Deputy Leader Adam Bandt will move motions in the Senate and the House recognising the great contribution made to Australian civil society by community broadcasters and calling on the Government to commit to adequate support for the sector.

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Balance freedom and security or put both in danger

The Australian Greens communications spokesperson, Senator for Western Australia Scott Ludlam, warned the Federal Government to avoid jeopardising civil liberties and human rights in the pursuit of security in the wake of the Prime Minister's national security announcements today.

"It's a positive that the Prime Minister recognises that a secure international environment is built on trust, and reaffirmed the nation's commitment to multilateralism, but some of her statements and much of the Government's ‘security' agenda causes concern.

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Caution essential in Government interventions online

The Australian Greens have urged a cautious and measured approach in seeking to regulate the way Australians communicate online, in the wake of the Prime Minister's statement on social media guidelines this morning.

Greens communications spokesperson Senator Scott Ludlam said "we welcome any effort to simplify user agreements and clarify avenues for people to protect themselves online. We are however concerned that a government that wanted to introduce a mandatory internet filter still seems intent on controlling the way we communicate with each other".

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More regulation not the antidote for trolling

Australian Greens communications spokesperson Senator Scott Ludlam has welcomed the overnight discovery of the practice of online trolling, but questioned calls for further government regulation as the solution.

"Exposing antisocial and abusive behaviour (online or offline) is probably going to be positive in the long term. We don't support bullying or hate speech, and it's good to shine a spotlight on some of the cowardly behaviour that's become normalised online. However, this is hardly a place for additional government intervention."

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Greens welcome report on trans-Tasman mobile roaming charges

Australian Greens communications spokesperson Senator for Western Australia Scott Ludlam today welcomed the release of a draft report revealing telecommunication companies are gouging excessive profits from trans-Tasman mobile roaming charges.

"We commend the Australian and New Zealand governments for undertaking this joint investigation and look forward to examining the options presented for placing downward pressure on mobile charges, and to ensure Australians and New Zealanders using their phones while travelling between our countries know the associated costs.

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Flawed cybercrime Bill dodges national security inquiry

The Australian Government is pursuing a draconian cybercrime law scheduled for debate in the Senate tonight despite warnings from its own MPs and before an inquiry into national security legislation has taken evidence or reported, the Greens said today.

The Greens communications spokesperson, Senator for Western Australia Scott Ludlam, said Labor's cybercrime legislation would open the door to Australians' private data being shared with agencies overseas.

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Greens persevere as Government dodges questions on TrapWire surveillance

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.

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