Australians are increasingly concerned about expansion of surveillance powers

New polling shows that Australians have a high level of concern over legislation that has made it easier for the Government and law enforcement agencies to access their private personal digital information. The polling, commissioned by Digital Rights Watch and undertaken by Essential Research, has revealed:      76% of people expressed concern that telecommunication companies […]

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Facial recognition expansion requires urgent review
Photo by timothy muza on Unsplash

Following reports that individuals are being forced to use facial recognition software in order to access government solar rebates, Digital Rights Watch have called for an urgent review of the rapid expansion of the controversial software. Victorians are being required to use Service Victoria’s new facial recognition system as an alternative to the traditional 100-point […]

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Sweeping metadata laws must be scaled back

Amidst reports last week of the extraordinarily high rate at which the Australian Federal Police accessed the communications history of journalists, the Human Right Law Centre, Digital Rights Watch and Access Now have called on the Morrison Government to urgently reform metadata laws. The Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security is conducting a review […]

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Lizzie O’Shea declared “Hero” for mobilizing the Australian public against the government’s anti-encryption legislation

Today, Access Now announces its selection of Lizzie O’Shea, an Australian human rights lawyer, broadcaster, and writer, as a recipient of this year’s Human Rights Heroes Award. O’Shea is recognized for leading work to highlight, analyze, and protest expansive surveillance laws in Australia. UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet will present the award […]

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Statement on AFP raid of journalist’s home

“It’s incredibly worrying to see AFP officers carry out a raid on the home of a political journalist working to reveal an important public interest issue – a potential massive expansion of domestic capacity in Australian spy agencies. We fear that the powers given to the AFP to seize and search Annika Smethurst’s digital footprint […]

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Digital Skills investment undermined by major parties’ digital rights legislation
Pic: Christiaan Colen

Political announcements around funding for digital skills and innovation will be wasted unless encryption legislation passed last year is repealed, according to human rights experts. “Of course we welcome announcements to fund digital skills, artificial intelligence, technology and research and development, such as those proposed most recently by the Labor party, along with telecommunications investments […]

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Human rights online highlighted as a key policy area for the 2019 Federal Election

Digital rights experts are urging Australians to consider how political parties are protecting their rights online when they head to the ballot box. A ranking of party positions on key issues by online privacy group Digital Rights Watch released today reveals that both the major parties have supported legislation that severely compromises human rights and […]

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Statement on arrest of Julian Assange in London

“We do not support arbitrary deprivation of liberty without proper due legal process. Mr Assange continued to seek political asylum in the Ecaudorian embassy in London, as is his right to do so, and the decision to revoke these protections is a worrying development,” said Digital Rights Watch Chair Tim Singleton Norton. “If Mr Assange […]

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Changes to Australia’s criminal code will create a new class of internet censorship
Image: CC Licensed Flickr user ijclark

The Australian Government have announced the introduction of a new Bill aimed at imposing criminal liability on executives of social media platforms if they fail to remove “abhorrent violent content.” The hastily drafted legislation could have serious unintended consequences for human rights in Australia. The rushed and secretive approach, the lack of proper open, democratic […]

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Penalties for extremist social media content needs further thought

Digital Rights Watch have today warned that proposed laws that would make it a criminal offence for social media companies to leave videos filmed by terrorists on their sites require more consultation to ensure they work effectively.   The Government announced the proposed new laws in the wake of the Christchurch attacks, where livestream videos […]

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