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Government approves introduction of anti-encryption bill without making public the consultation process

Media Release
Jordon Steele-John 18 Sep 2018

Tuesday, 18 September

The Coalition joint party room must wait until the Department of Home Affairs finishes reviewing public submissions made to the Telecommunications and Other Legislation Amendment (Assistance and Access) Bill 2018 before introducing the legislation, according to the Australian Greens.


Australian Greens Digital Rights spokesperson Senator Jordon Steele-John said it was an affront to transparent, open and accountable government that the Coalition joint party room had this morning approved the bill.

“Almost 15,000 individual submissions were made to the Department of Home Affairs regarding this bill, which is an incredible response from the Australian public in the few short weeks given for public consultation,” Steele-John said.


“It’s only been one week since public consultation closed! There is simply no way the government has had time to consider all of those responses in their decision to endorse the bill this morning.


“Although the consultation process has not yet been made public, we’ve seen the United Nations, the Australian Human Rights Commission, Digital Rights Watch, Human Rights Watch and other significant organisations publicly criticise the overreach of this bill.


“The weight of these submissions alone should be enough to make the government think twice about trying to ram this bill through the Parliament.


“Furthermore, the European Court of Human Rights recently ruled that the United Kingdom’s regime of mass surveillance – on which Australian legislation is based  – breaches the human rights of every single EU citizen.

“This is massive government overreach and something we should all be extremely concerned about. It makes a mockery of our right to privacy, leaves us more vulnerable to cyber espionage and permanently weakens existing protections we all rely on to stay safe and secure online.”

Media contact:

Tim Oliver (Senator Steele-John) – 0448 316 387

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