Police spying without warrants

Scott Ludlam, Greens senator ...
Scott Ludlam, Greens senator ... "We’ve already taken some pretty dangerous steps ... towards the surveillance state." Jim Rice

LAW enforcement and government departments are accessing vast quantities of phone and internet usage data without warrants, prompting warnings from the Greens of a growing ''surveillance state'' and calls by privacy groups for tighter controls.

Figures released by the federal Attorney-General's Department show that federal and state government agencies accessed telecommunications data and internet logs more than 250,000 times during criminal and revenue investigations in 2010-11.

The Greens senator Scott Ludlam highlighted the statistics while calling for tighter controls on access to mobile device location information.

''There should be a higher standard of proof, or a higher standard of cause needing to be shown, to track down your every location through your life than there is for reading your email,'' he said at a recent conference on internet privacy.

''We've already taken some pretty dangerous steps in this country towards the surveillance state, and not that many of us are either interested or aware that it's going on, including people like me who should know better.''

Read more at The Age.

Topics:  greens online online privacy phone hacking police spying

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