Firms should not lock users, Australian law says
Australia’s new copyright law is a step too far for tech companies, which argue that locking users in lockers violates their intellectual property rights.
The law was introduced in July by Labor and then introduced by the Turnbull government in the wake of the Wikileaks leaks.
“The Australian Copyright Act is a threat to free speech,” the Attorney-General told a senate committee on Wednesday.
“It gives the government the power to lock you into a specific room and monitor what you say in there.”
The law has been hailed by internet activists and copyright advocates who argue it is intended to curtail free speech.
The Australian Government said the law was aimed at keeping people from “trying to communicate anonymously”.
“It will only encourage cyber criminals to continue to commit crime,” it said.
“For the time being, the law does not apply to online services that operate under a legitimate contract or licence agreement.”
If the law is enforced, then the Australian Government will ensure that the law applies to all Australians.
“However, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) is arguing that the act is unconstitutional.”
These are laws intended to protect the public interest, not criminals and criminals are not entitled to privacy in Australia,” it told the committee.”
Australia does not allow for the locking down of an individual to protect their identity and their private life.
It is a fundamental right under the Constitution.”ACMA also argues the law should be interpreted to allow companies to be held accountable for the actions of their staff.”
What the law has done is to allow the Australian Federal Police to take control of people’s digital communications and conduct the bulk of their investigations,” it added.”
This means that the Australian public is left with little recourse.”‘
It is a breach of privacy’The Australian Federal police has also issued a statement, saying it would not be able to “monitor a person’s activity online without a warrant or court order”.”
As a result of the new copyright laws, a law enforcement agency cannot monitor an individual’s internet activity without a court order,” it wrote.”ACMA has reviewed the law to ensure that it remains consistent with the public good, and that it does not undermine freedom of speech and expression.
“We will continue to work with industry to ensure the law reflects this, and it will be an ongoing process to ensure our laws are consistent with international standards.”ACTA has also asked the Australian Parliament to review the laws.