Tasmanian Times

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

Media Release

Labor must show courage in resisting Dutton’s bullying on encryption legislation

Centre Alliance Senator Rex Patrick today condemned Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton’s attempt to bully the Parliament into passing the Government’s controversial encryption bill without full scrutiny and debate.

“Peter Dutton’s demands that Parliament pass his encryption bill before Christmas, effectively truncating scrutiny and debate, are a crude attempt to twist national security for political advantage,” Senator Patrick said. “The Labor Opposition needs to pluck up the courage and not capitulate to Dutton’s political thuggery.”

“Minister Dutton’s controversial encryption legislation raises very complex questions, not only about countering terrorism and crime, but also the security of internet services that are used by Australians every day.”

“Very serious concerns have been raised by IT companies, security and privacy experts that the Government’s proposals to open backdoors for law enforcement and security agencies will systemically compromise internet security. These concerns must be given full consideration. They cannot be swept under the carpet.”

“If the encryption legislation was the urgent priority the Home Affairs Minister now claims, he should have introduced his Bill into the Parliament months earlier.”

“It is unacceptable that Mr Dutton should be banging on the door of the Parliamentary Joint Committee of Intelligence and Security, demanding that its members truncate their inquiry and rubber stamp his Bill.”

“The highly political and arbitrary nature of Mr Dutton’s bullying is reflected in the fact that in the last Senate sitting, the Government failed to give priority to its own legislation to expedite the call out of the Australian Defence Force in response to terrorist threats and attacks. That Bill enjoys bipartisan support, but the Government couldn’t be bothered to give it priority last week.”

“It is noteworthy that the Chair and Deputy Chair of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security were prompted yesterday to issue a statement emphasising the importance of careful consideration of counter-terrorism legislation ‘to ensure that new powers are proportionate and appropriately balanced with human rights and privacy, and that commensurate oversight and accountability is provided’.”

“Unfortunately, however, the Labor Opposition has not always been very robust in resisting Coalition political demands that complex and controversial national security legislation be rushed without proper debate.”

“In June this year Labor Senators joined with the Government to ram through new espionage, foreign interference and foreign agent registration laws through the Senate in a single day.”

“Labor joined the Government in proclaiming that legislation to be so urgent that only the most truncated debate was allowed. Yet five months later the Coalition Government has not yet implemented its foreign influence transparency scheme, and has given no indication that it will do so before the forthcoming federal election.”

“It would be another betrayal of the Parliament’s vital scrutiny role if Labor again rolls over, and again rubber stamps controversial national security legislation without proper scrutiny and debate.”

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Christopher Eastman-Nagle

    November 23, 2018 at 10:11 pm

    One would think by now that it would have begun to dawn on social libertarians (and commercial ones as well come to think of it, in slightly different contexts) that increasingly regular and serious attacks on our public spaces are stradling us across an increasingly sharp dilemma between national security and the civil liberties we normally enjoy in peacetime.

    You would imagine that they would be having a serious little think about what that means for not just now, but with some attempt at foresight as to how the security challenges need to be met.

    Our social libertarian friends are very glib when it comes to telling ‘the other guy’ about getting out from under business-as-usual. It might not be a bad idea if they took their own advice.

    Our more militant Muslim brothers and sisters, and the increasingly large conservative van that is evolving behind them throughout the world, have a particularly clear vision about the end of western secular business-as-usual.

    If you can’t see this one coming, you are as blindsided as the other guys are about climate change.

    We don’t have to go blundering after Peter Dutton, but it might be a good idea to have a little think about the possible wisdom of what he is saying.

    Next door in Indonesia for instance, the Waleed Alis are well and truly on the retreat, as they in most other places where there are large and majoritarian Muslim communities. Go to Pakistan and say anything untoward about the prophet (peace be upon him) and they will have you on blasphemy charges … and then hang you.

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