New bill will allow police to hack anyone's data without a warrant

New bill will allow police to hack anyone’s data without a warrant

A newly passed bill will allow police to hack, collect or delete your data and take control of your social media without a warrant.

The Surveillance Legislation Amendment (Identify and Disrupt) Bill 2020 was passed last week.

It gives the Australian Federal Police (AFP) and Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC) new powers for dealing with online crime. These include data disruption warrants, network activity warrants and account takeover warrants.

Image: ABC

The bill was first introduced in August last year and has since progressed.

It has now passed both houses of federal government and requires approval from the governor general before it’s fully sanctioned.

According to Peter Dutton, the police will only use the law for things such as drug and firearms trafficking, terrorism, and child exploitation on the dark web.

However, this was heavily criticised by Senator Lidia Thorpe, the Greens spokesperson for Justice:

The Richardson review concluded that this bill enables the AFP and ACIC to be ‘judge, jury and executioner.’ That’s not how we deliver justice in this country.”

The Human Rights Law Centre tried to ensure safeguards to prevent police from using it against journalists and whistle blowers, but it was passed without any amendments.

Under this bill, police can also apply for an “assistance order” which requires a targeted person – any person who has “relevant knowledge” of the computer or network – to assist with the hacking activities.

Anyone who’s required to assist with government hacking is protected from civil liability. However, anyone that refuses to comply could face up to 10 years’ imprisonment.

The internet and anonymising technologies has allowed criminal networks and enterprises to expand rapidly while also making them difficult to trace.

Applications such as Discord have stated that 536 verified dealers sold over $100,000 worth of illegal substances and stolen goods in one week, irregardless of Discord’s “zero-tolerance” approach to illegal activity.