Australian spies now have much more power to monitor people


Laws giving Australian intelligence agencies stronger powers have passed the nation’s upper house of parliament, as the government also introduced new wording to prohibit torture. Attorney-General George Brandis said the legislation, the first counter-terrorism bill to go to parliament amid growing concerns about Islamic state jihadists, was vital to plug gaps in the law.

Following a wave of terrorism concerns in Australia, extreme new spy laws are being pushed through Parliament. With the level of alert in Australia at an all-time high due to the local threat of Islamic State, the National Security Legislation Amendment Bill passed through the Senate overnight with little opposition. It is expected to be given final approval by the House of Representatives next week. The bill allows the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) to access a network of computers, including computers not belonging to people of concern, using a single warrant. The number of computers within a network has not been defined.

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