Australia: Police can now hack citizens' devices, collect or delete their data

WION Web Team
NEW DELHI Published: Sep 01, 2021, 07:14 PM(IST)

(Representative Image) Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

The Surveillance Legislation Amendment (Identify and Disrupt) Bill 2020 (Identify and Disrupt Bill) provides three new types of warrants that allow the authorities to edit and erase data, take over online accounts.

With Labor's support, an Australian government law giving police unprecedented powers to spy on criminal suspects online, interrupt their data, and take over their accounts was passed.

Despite worries about the low bar for who can issue a warrant and the government's failure to adopt all of the protections proposed by the bipartisan joint committee on intelligence and security, the Senate passed the identify and disrupt bill on Wednesday.

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The Surveillance Legislation Amendment (Identify and Disrupt) Bill 2020 (Identify and Disrupt Bill) provides three new types of warrants that allow the Australian Federal Police and the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission to edit and erase data, take over accounts, and spy on Australians who are suspected of being involved in criminal networks.

These three additional authorities to combat online crime:

  1. The ability to "disrupt data" by modifying, copying, adding, or removing it is granted by a data disruption warrant.
  2. A network activity warrant permits the authorities to gather information from devices or networks used or anticipated to be used by those who are the subject of the order.
  3. Account takeover warrant: permits the police to seize control of an internet account (such as social media) in order to obtain information for an investigation. 

(With inputs from agencies)

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