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Australian Police Given Covert Search and Hacking Powers 122

Posted by samzenpus
from the big-brother dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The NSW government of Australia has quietly introduced new police powers for covert home searches and covert hacking of computers. The suspect may not be notified of the covert activity for up to three years. These new powers are similar to those given to the UK police earlier this year. The new warrants can only be issued in the Supreme Court for suspected serious offences punishable by at least seven years jail — which includes computer crime offences."
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Australian Police Given Covert Search and Hacking Powers

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  • by iminplaya (723125) <iminplaya.gmail@com> on Thursday March 05, 2009 @02:01AM (#27074281) Journal

    Like putting a single eyelash on the door to see if it's been opened. But the better trick is the ol' bucket of water on top.

    • Water? That's a bit lame [activityvillage.co.uk] on the prank [createforless.com] scale [wikipedia.org].

  • by freedom_india (780002) on Thursday March 05, 2009 @02:05AM (#27074299) Homepage Journal

    As a first step, the cops should target one of their own for secret investigation. Will they do it?
    How would Peter Costello or Nathan Rees react if they were targeted for such an investigation?
    Why don't the politicians confiscate the super annuation of corrupt politicians [abc.net.au]?
    What prevents them passing such a law?
    And last of all, why are politicians around the world so intent on destroying the last shred of privacy of the Common man under the guise of terrorism?
    First USA (thanks Bush), UK, Australia, Germany and lastly even Canada.
    Why?

    • by Capsaicin (412918) on Thursday March 05, 2009 @02:11AM (#27074331)

      Why?

      Because the voting public let them get away with it. As long as the majoriry of voters are more concerned with voting in favour of tax cuts and a harsher criminal justice system than with safeguarding civil liberties it will be so.

      If you feel strongly enough about this kind of thing, don't just sit around and moan on slashdot. Become active, educate, make this an issue.

      • From what I've seen the majority of voters persistently vote for whichever party their family has always voted for. Most of the remainder of the voters pick out of whatever parties or candidates get positive or neutral media coverage.

        Considering how polar issues have been portrayed for the convenience of sound bites, politicians tend to have to be perceived as being the whole "tough on [issue x,y,etc]" deal. They don't want to be sympathisers of criminals/terrorists/child molesters/etc now do they?

      • by freedom_india (780002) on Thursday March 05, 2009 @03:57AM (#27074813) Homepage Journal

        don't just sit around and moan on slashdot. Become active, educate, make this an issue.

        No. Did NOT just sit ariund and moan.
        In the country am presently, in, the Indian Government already has repealed the US-equivalent of PATRIOT Act and has no intention of bringing it back.
        Secondly, the parliment has passed a law that outlaws arrests by cops without due warning.
        Meaning, they can't just barge into my house, drag me away screaming with a no-knock warrant. They gotta serve me with a written paper detailing charged against me, wait for 15 days and if meanwhile the court doesn't stop, they can arrest me.
        Yes, the usual local neocons (lawyers) protested this saying it will help criminals escape.
        But the local protests supporting the law were a LOT HUGE overwhelming the neocons.
        As a result all political parties have started supporting it, since they risk losing their seats otherwise.
        Third, the Supreme Court has strongly supported the law and says it balances the rights and has said that even though the law will let a few criminals escape, it will allow many innocents avoid being arrested in first place.
        Talk about grassroots democracy!

        • I think i've found my new home.

          What's the policy between UK / US and India regarding extradition? I'm no criminal, but I don't want to be the next McKinnon just because I said something America or England didn't like.
          • by freedom_india (780002) on Thursday March 05, 2009 @08:00AM (#27075777) Homepage Journal

            UK and India share the commonwealth policies: Child abuse, terrorism, murder extraditions.
            USA and India share the UN rules: --ditto--.
            Beyond that nothing much.
            Add to that the Election Commission is as fiercely independent as possible and competition pretty hot amongst politicians.

            Net Neutrality is already a law since 2001 here (not many indians know this), and local providers who attempted to subvert it were quickly shut down by Telecom Ministry. However the maximum bandwidth is about 2Mbps anywhere for individual connections. 8Mbps is available for business connections.
            The remaining ISPs are wiser now.
            But the ISPs rally don't care what you do with it. Once you pay them about $112 per month for unlimited, they leave you alone.

            The Central Banker whips errant banks into shape quickly (15 days maximum time to respond). I have used the facility to complain about 4 banks regarding personal loans, credit cards and fraud. All the time, when the local branch of Indian Fed "enquired" to the errant bank, they responded positively and either waived the excess charges or refunded deducted money or in one case sent me the original note of someone else's mortgage!
            Yeah, the Fed here is hard task master. Its officers are recruited from inside and from colleges. And the Governer is answerable to the Government every six months. It has a huge independence, and considers every bank to be a criminal unless the bank proves otherwise.
            Which means if you complain to the Fed about a particular bank's practices, you get default judgement many a time unless the bank manages to convince the Fed otherwise with proof acceptable to you(which means you get judgement).

            Courts have become increasingly aggressive in dealing with cops violating rules and impose mandatory imprisonments and fines on them. (of course some elected officials shouted against this practice and threatened laws, but backed down when the court threatened them with contempt of court).

            The local FOIA is like a bible to these guys. File a request and you can be guaranteed of information within 7 days. hell some even invite you to their office, share coffee with you, and send you with information.
            A couple of officials thought they were above FOIA, and the courts swiftly imprisoned them. Shook the esablishment so much that now they bend backwards to be open even without an FOIA.
            I was able to change the property tax evaluations, electricity information and charges just by talking to the commissioner about FOIA.

            • by VJ42 (860241) *
              Which part of India are you in? I was born and brought up here in the UK, but my family is of Punjabi origin; what you're describing doesn't fit with the stories of corruption and nepotism in Indian politics that I've heard. If it's true that India has really started to get rid of it's corruption problems that's great news, and I'll probably retire there in 30 years or so.
      • by Anonymous Coward

        It's all very well to say that it is because the voting public let them get away with it, but the voting public are not given a vote on the legislation. All they can do is vote for a representative - who then usually proceeds to represent the interests of business rather than the voter.

        Voting only gets you what you want if there is a candidate who will carry out your wishes.

        • by Capsaicin (412918)

          It's all very well to say that it is because the voting public let them get away with it, but the voting public are not given a vote on the legislation.

          Well thank the gods for that! Can you imagine the dystopia we would live in if they did? :o

          Voting only gets you what you want if there is a candidate who will carry out your wishes.

          You must live in a place where politicians are not poll driven? Believe me here in Australia, politicians would run over the grandma for a vote.

          If the public let the pollies

      • Because the voting public let them get away with it.

        Hell, that's what they demanded.

      • [quote]As long as the majoriry of voters are more concerned with voting in favour of tax cuts and a harsher criminal justice system than with safeguarding civil liberties it will be so.[/quote]

        Humbug.

        You mean vote for the opposing Party, so they can govern in ways we voted them out for in the first place, and so on, and so on, while no cohesive plan exists for a future more than 4 years away?

    • by MrNaz (730548) * on Thursday March 05, 2009 @02:58AM (#27074537) Homepage

      Why?

      Because western society has degenerated to a democratic show where the public are convinced they are free because they get to choose between two essentially identical political rulers with the exact same hidden agendas.

      And we have the arrogance to think we have the right to go around "liberating" other nations. Oh, the irony.

      • Why don't intelligent libertarians get modded up these days?

        Yeah, go ahead mods. Gimme all you got.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Heather D (1279828)
        Western society is decadent. We care about image to the exclusion of all else. This means, among other things, that you can get away with almost anything provided you have enough influence.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      because:
      War is peace
      Ignorance is knowledge
      Freedom is slavery
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by tg123 (1409503)

      As a first step, the cops should target one of their own for secret investigation. Will they do it?

      I agree with you, However there are two issues that come to mind

      1) the mind set : police in australia will not arrest there own. http://blogs.news.com.au/news/crime/index.php/news/comments/policing_the_police/ [news.com.au]

      2) Investigations into police can bring up more dirt then they can handle . http://www.theage.com.au/national/police-watchdog-sacks-own-investigator-20090304-8oic.html [theage.com.au]

      How would Peter Costello or Nathan Rees react if they were targeted for such an investigation?

      The investigators would be told to cease. The powers that be know that the damage would be too great.

      Why don't the politicians confiscate the super annuation of corrupt politicians ? [abc.net.au] What prevents them passing such a law?

      [sarcasm warning] What

      • I hate it when the lawmakers make laws and then turn around, bare their brown bottoms to the public and state the laws don't apply to the lawmakers.
        Why doesn't the Supreme Court intervene and strike down these laws?
        After all even a 3rd world country like India has struck down PATRIOT acts, passes laws that prevent Police from making unannounced arrests, and convicts politicians.
         

      • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward
        Their, their, their! Dear god man, learn to syntax.
    • by b4upoo (166390)

      I have opined that no government can tolerate the free flow of communications. If the common man can communicate with enough people he will soon gain insights which cause him to be at odds with his government. Choking communications is the response of governments which perceive a dangerous degree of freedom in their population.

    • by dpastern (1077461)

      Because, they don't give a fuck about us, the common man. We're here to be abused. The time is a soon coming where the common man will rise against these so called "governments" and pull them, and all that support them, down. It cannot come a moment too soon.

      Dave

  • by Tyrannicalposter (1347903) on Thursday March 05, 2009 @02:06AM (#27074307)

    Oh wait, I forgot.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Goldenjera (1040584)

      Some people actually paid to come to this country. Australia is full of land, something the U.K. did not have very much of.

      Politically - Australia is full of people who do not understand the internet (for example - that internet filtering thing) and will not vote for a government which understands the internet, and respects our civil liberties.

  • News response... (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    These new powers have been put in place to allow the police to intercept message-carrying kangaroos, a long time lifeblood of the criminal underworld. In response, crime syndicates have begun equiping their kangaroos with laser beams.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by daveime (1253762)

      What's that Skippy ?

      The drugs are hidden in the old mine ?
      The police are hiding in the back of the farm ?
      And little Jimmy has been taken out once and for all ?

      Skippy, Skippy, Skippy the crack Kangeroo ...
      Skippy, Skippy, there's a laser on his head for me and you ...
      (Sorry, doesn't scan very well)

  • by EdIII (1114411) * on Thursday March 05, 2009 @02:21AM (#27074383)

    I usually get upset when I hear about new powers being granted to the U.S, U.K, and Australia. However, all of those involve searches that violate the 4th amendment (U.S) and our privacy and do not have the checks and balances provided for by the judicial courts.

    The new warrants can only be issued in the Supreme Court for suspected serious offences punishable by at least seven years jail -- which includes computer crime offences.

    They seem to be asking for warrants, and at a high level. That does not seem so bad, and in fact is all that I am really asking for. Checks and balances.

    This is a positive step AFAIK.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 05, 2009 @02:50AM (#27074515)

      This is a positive step AFAIK.

      Oh really? If you were a New South Welshman, would you rethink that knowing these tidbits?

      From the first [news.com.au] article:

      These powers are more powerful than those available to the federal police when dealing with terrorism suspects," NSW Council for Civil Liberties president Cameron Murphy said. "These are exactly the types of laws that led to a huge police corruption problem in NSW in the past. It is going to lead to more police corruption. Why would the NSW Police need more power in dealing with ordinary criminals than the federal police does in dealing with terrorists?

      And from the second [abc.net.au]:

      Police have welcomed the new laws but Australian Council for Civil Liberties president Terry O'Gorman says they are open to abuse.

      "Clearly, if the police are able to search a person's home without anyone being present, the police will be in the position to plant evidence," he said.

      If you think this is just tinfoil hat paranoia, perhaps you haven't heard of the Wood Royal Commission. There's good reason to be wary of the police of NSW, and I say that despite being someone who might not be alive today were it not for a detective's hard work.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by EdIII (1114411) *

        So, ANY investigations are wrong?

        They are at least involving the judges. There has to be a warrant issued BEFORE the police can start to abuse anything.

        Dear god, count your blessings. At least they did not grant the powers directly to the police themselves to be used indiscriminately. At least here the police have to show they had reasonable suspicions you were guilty of a crime that could be punished by seven years in jail.

      • by giarcgood (857371) on Thursday March 05, 2009 @03:21AM (#27074661)

        If you think this is just tinfoil hat paranoia, perhaps you haven't heard of the Wood Royal Commission. There's good reason to be wary of the police of NSW, and I say that despite being someone who might not be alive today were it not for a detective's hard work.

        I have said this for more years than I care to remember, the NSW Police are the best police force that money can buy.

        • by Techman83 (949264)
          If had mod points, that would be getting an Insightful. Even if the Current Underbelly Series is only a tiny bit accurate, those must have been scary times. I was only in Nappies during that era.
          • If had mod points, that would be getting an Insightful. Even if the Current Underbelly Series is only a tiny bit accurate, those must have been scary times. I was only in Nappies during that era.

            I don't think its any better now. Maybe not as close to the surface.

        • If you think this is just tinfoil hat paranoia, perhaps you haven't heard of the Wood Royal Commission. There's good reason to be wary of the police of NSW, and I say that despite being someone who might not be alive today were it not for a detective's hard work.

          I have said this for more years than I care to remember, the NSW Police are the best police force that money can buy.

          Yeah but you know (as Arthur Clarke used to say) its hard these days to find an honest man who stays bought.

      • As a New South Welshman, I'm not really particularly concerned. Especially as I've not been able to read the actual source bill to see exactly what it states can and cannot happen.

      • by Eskarel (565631)

        I'm not really 100% sure of how I feel about this new law.

        On the one hand, they still require reasonable cause and still have to go before a judge, the only real difference is they don't have to tell the person they're searching.

        On the other hand, I don't really see what benefit the police can really derive from this. It's only really useful if you're planning on repeat searches of the same target, but aside from the fact that repeatedly searching people you have no evidence against is somewhat dodgy, I don

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by davester666 (731373)

      At least they still have to ask for warrants.

      In the US, evidently the FISA court couldn't rubber-stamp warrants fast enough, so now you can go a week before even applying for a warrant for a wiretap, and even if the warrant is denied (which historically is remarkably rare), they don't have to actually lift the wiretap until AFTER all appeals have been completed. And they don't have to destroy the tapes if the final appeal denies the wiretap.

      But this is still NOT a positive step, IMHO. It's just not as bad

    • by rossz (67331)

      You forgot the most important rule. If a law can be abused by the people in power, it will be abused by the people in power.

      Here's a quick way to do it. The law says the warrant can only be issued for crimes that involve at least seven years of imprisonment. So start creeping up the penalties each year. Soon, everything falls under the requirements.

    • by Mista2 (1093071) on Thursday March 05, 2009 @04:06AM (#27074859)

      There also needs to bee immediate disclosure if the search comes up empty. That way teh searches will only be done if they actually have something concrete rather than just going on fishing expidetitons.
      Oh , I'm sorry Mr Human Rights activist, we didnt find any child porn on your computer this time, but I'm sure well get SOMETHING next time after the keylogger we installed reports back to us.

      It does worry me when even for the best reasons the police are given permission to act in secret. I mean, there has NEVER been a crooked cop in NSW has there?

    • by mgiuca (1040724)

      I usually get upset when I hear about new powers being granted to the U.S, U.K, and Australia. However, all of those involve searches that violate the 4th amendment (U.S) and our privacy and do not have the checks and balances provided for by the judicial courts.

      Uh, we don't have the 4th amendment in Australia...

      • by EdIII (1114411) *

        Uh, we don't have the 4th amendment in Australia...

        I know. That's why you need to read:

        violate the 4th amendment (U.S)

        I mentioned it, but I also limited it to the U.S.

  • by AHuxley (892839) on Thursday March 05, 2009 @02:30AM (#27074417) Homepage Journal
    Australia will so misuse this.
    Any computer internet use will be a "computer crime".

    Also recall the total force wide corruption. In Australia it *was* not who is corrupt, the only question *was* anyone not corrupt.
    If /. readers want to understand what was done in my state:
    Political surveillance and the South Australian Police
    http://www.aic.gov.au/publications/lcj/wayward/ch7t.html [aic.gov.au]
    • Australia will so misuse this. Any computer internet use will be a "computer crime". Also recall the total force wide corruption. In Australia it *was* not who is corrupt, the only question *was* anyone not corrupt.

      Just picking on your popular hyperbole at random, not you in particular. The corruption in SA you point to was exposed 10yrs ago. In the 80's there was exposure of corruption amoung high ranks in NSW, in the 90's QLD, last couple of years in Vic.

      How does exposure of corruption equate to "to
      • by AHuxley (892839)
        Try and find the book "The conviction of the innocent" by Chester Porter qc.
        It has some parts on your question about "Not to mention the courts would also have to be "totally corrupt" under this (state) law"
        Its all in how you present evidence, nothing more is really needed to get a conviction.
        The court system just has to accept the junk it is given.
        In the past it was verballing (The putting of damaging remarks into the mouths of suspects during police interrogation), before video recording.
        Now its your
        • Yep, "Star Chamber" is good fiction too, not saying things like that don't happen but the closet we came to "total corruption" was WW2. I read enough hyperbole in the mass-media - here I can bite back a little. ;)
  • by Swampash (1131503) on Thursday March 05, 2009 @02:32AM (#27074423)

    This is a state law, not a federal one. The headline is misleading in that it contains the words "government of Australia" in that order. It still sucks, but it's not a national law.

    • but it's not a national law.

      surely its bound to be the thin edge of the wedge...?

      • by Techman83 (949264)
        Possibly not, NSW have a lot of outrageous laws and have done for a while.
        • Possibly not, NSW have a lot of outrageous laws and have done for a while.

          Such as?

          • by glowworm (880177)

            Possibly not, NSW have a lot of outrageous laws and have done for a while.

            Such as?

            Simpons' porn being classed as full on child pornography and carrying the full force of the law despite no real child being harmed... or real person for that matter.

          • by rohan972 (880586)

            Possibly not, NSW have a lot of outrageous laws and have done for a while.

            Such as?

            Daylight saving! You cockroaches stay south, here me! And have your mates back!
            - Yes, I'm a Queenslander.

    • by iminplaya (723125)

      This is a state law, not a federal one.

      The story about the federal law you will find here [slashdot.org]

  • it's got supreme court oversight and is only for suspected serious offences, so they aren't going to be able to perform the search and then find nothing only to charge you with possession of 1gram of weed to save face.

    besides what do you expect them to do, walk up to your front door with a mega phone and annouce "PREPARE TO BE COVERTLY SEARCHED!!!!"?

  • Yawn (Score:2, Informative)

    by liamoshan (1283930)
    So the NSW state police have been given the same powers that other state police forces/services and the Federal Police already have? Who cares?

    As has already been pointed out, it's under the same type of arrangements as other Australian agencies are subject to: Court ordered warrants. Not just any court, but the Supreme Court of NSW.

    When applying for a warrant, the police must provide convincing reasons to the judge, and the contents of these warrants come out in court if a prosecution results. Somehow I

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by tg123 (1409503)

      So the NSW state police have been given the same powers that other state police forces/services and the Federal Police already have? Who cares?

      As has already been pointed out, it's under the same type of arrangements as other Australian agencies are subject to: Court ordered warrants. Not just any court, but the Supreme Court of NSW.

      When applying for a warrant, the police must provide convincing reasons to the judge, and the contents of these warrants come out in court if a prosecution results. Somehow I don't think "he looks funny" is going to cut it.

      I think this is a reasonable use of police powers, with suitable checks and balances in place

      Have you ever heard of THE YELDHAM SCANDAL? http://www.uow.edu.au/arts/sts/bmartin/dissent/documents/health/yeldham.html [uow.edu.au]

      basicly Mr yeldham was a pet supreme court judge that the police used when they wanted to do nasty things.

      really juicy reading a quote " Mr. Yeldham, a retired supreme court judge in New South Wales committed suicide when he was subpoenaed to appear before a Royal Commission inquiring into police corruption and the protection of paedophiles."

    • I think this is a reasonable use of police powers...

      HA! This won't be reasonable in my mind until the only situation that they're combining their powers is when they turn into Captain Planet...any other time besides that = unacceptable!!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 05, 2009 @02:50AM (#27074507)

    The new warrants can only be issued in the Supreme Court for suspected serious offences punishable by at least seven years jail which includes computer crime offences.

    Does possession of child porn carry a seven year sentence in Australia? If you have a computer, and an internet connection, you just might be downloading kiddie porn, so.... I guess they've covered pretty much anyone they want.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by daveime (1253762)

      No you have it all backwards ...

      1 - Implement the power to search without warrant anyone suspected of a 7 year jailable offence.
      2 - Get that law passed
      3 - Make EVERY crime punishable by a 7 year jail sentence
      4 - Privatise the prison system, float them on the stock market, and buy lots of shares.
      5 - ????
      6 - Profit !

    • In NSW, no: http://www.aic.gov.au/publications/htcb/htcb008.html [aic.gov.au]

      2 years for possession, 5 years for distribution, both also carry fairly big monetary fines.

  • by pwizard2 (920421) on Thursday March 05, 2009 @02:59AM (#27074543)
    I wonder what kind of "hacking" this will entail, and if they took computers with decent security into account. Owning a typical default-user-is-root-and-runs-MSIE Windows box is not very difficult, but I would like them to see them try that on a well secured Linux or BSD box with a competent administrator. Without root access, the police aren't going to get very far.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by MichaelSmith (789609)
      It would be a mistake to assume that the police (even NSW police) are unable to find somebody to do this. They can always go to a university and get advice from Comp Sci professors, etc. This happens a lot in technical cases.

      Having to be root won't stop them if they can get at the hardware, any more than it would stop me.

      For an attempt at security buy a palmtop or netbook. Install netbsd and use the cryptographic disk driver on all volumes. If you have material on there which can put you away hide it wi
    • by AHuxley (892839)
      Most Australian state police forces have *people* who where classical trained on staff 24/7.
      Unix/Linux* or BSD box would be no problem for men and woman who passed CS from good Australian universities in the 1970's-80's.
      If the Australia federal gov thought it was wise to track its cash flow in real time, why not track the 'interweb' usage too.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australian_Transaction_Reports_and_Analysis_Centre [wikipedia.org]
      So yes most states do have the smart people to run small scale tracking on the web
  • "...suspected serious offences punishable by at least seven years jail &#226;&#8364;" which includes computer crime offences."

    So, they want to catch computer criminals by using the same tricks that they use?
    Do the government seriously think that hackers are going to have an insecure network?
    The closest they'll get to catching hackers is catching a whole bunch of script kiddies, who could be caught without needing to hack their computers.

    And when court-sanctioned hacking becomes common, organized cri
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by timmarhy (659436)
      your over estimating what a police hack involves. installing some spyware on your laptop while you are out of the house is the extent of their abilities. run linux or even just run a screen saver password will defeat them. hell i'd bet $50 a decent virus scanner will pick their activities via hueristics.
  • by iminplaya (723125) <iminplaya.gmail@com> on Thursday March 05, 2009 @03:14AM (#27074609) Journal

    to have Kangaroo Courts for real?

  • by localoptimum (993261) on Thursday March 05, 2009 @03:49AM (#27074769)
    Police Entrance Exam

    Question 1 Please demonstrate the correct police procedure for gathering evidence from the rogue website "www.nastyTerrorPaedophiles.org".

    Your answer

    freedom4all:~$ nmap -A -T4 www.nastyTerrorPaedophiles.org
    Interesting ports on www.nastyTerrorPaedophiles.org:
    Not shown: 1688 closed ports
    PORT STATE SERVICE VERSION
    22/tcp open ssh (protocol 2.0)
    .
    .
    .
    freedom4all:~$ ssh root@www.nastyTerrorPaedophiles.org
    root@www.nastyTerrorPaedophiles.org's password:[britneyspears]
    Permission denied, please try again.
    root@www's password: [poshspice]
    Permission denied, please try again.
    root@www's password: [thepiratebay]
    Last login: Mon Mar 2 22:58:01 2009 from disarray.nastyTerrorPaedophiles.org
    root@www:~$ ls -l
    total 13
    drwxr-xr-x 3 root root 4096 2009-02-27 09:01 My_Terror_Plans
    drwxr-xr-x 3 root root 4096 2009-02-27 09:05 My_Child_Porn_Movies
    drwxr-xr-x 6 root root 4096 2009-02-27 09:09 My_BitTorrent_Files
    .
    .

  • "Attention! This is the thought Police.

    Come out with your keyboard clearly unplugged and above your head. Don't try anything with that mouse either or it's probable cause for you.

    Do not attempt to delete those mp3s as we will be sharing those ALLLLL around once we get those drives back to the lab and imaged off.

    We've been tracking you're collection for months, don't turn this into wasted time or it's off to the pen where their idea of Internet access is deciding on which rope climb you'll be scaling today."

  • Just wait - the other states and the Feds will all move to harmonise their laws with NSW.

  • by flyneye (84093)

    A society permitted to own guns are called citizens.
    A society not permitted to defend against their government are subjects.
    I think you know where I'm going with this...

    • I think you know where I'm going with this...

      To the nearest bookshop, to buy a dictionary?

      The definitions of "citizen" vs "subject" have nothing to do with gun control; and furthermore, guns are by far not the only means to keep the government in check.

      • by flyneye (84093)

        Don't be pedantic.
        Guns are a last resort to keep the government in check.
        Sounds like they're close to their last resort with their trousers 'bout their ankles.

  • Many sites (The Pirate Bay being a high-profile example) get by because their actions and services are not illegal in the country in which they operate. However, since the internet connects everyone, if those actions or services are illegal in anyone's country they can still use them because they can connect to the foreign country with no problem.

    Great, so everyone knew that already. The question is, can this same tactic be used by law enforcement and government? What I mean is, even if the FBI hacking you

    • by AHuxley (892839)
      FBI would be all over a Russian server, chatroom.
      When they have a trusted person 'in' they would log users at the site and post a link to a 'useless' file on a server they own.
      The IP's of everybody on the site and who wanted the file would be collected by the FBI and passed on.
      Any "Australian' IP's who where in the room and clicked on the link would have their ISP logs looked at in great detail by local Australian task forces.
      You would then be under passive surveillance, and anything you did on line wou
  • Man, I just finished watching a movie called The Lives of Others, about the Stasi in East Berlin before the wall fell. They had these same powers, they could search/bug peoples homes on mere suspicion alone.

    If the supposedly "democratic" and "free" societies are heading in this direction I wonder how the world will ever recover from it.

  • Slashdot: "The NSW government of Australia has quietly introduced new police powers..."

    TFA: "The Government says new legislation, to be introduced into Parliament today...

    "Introduced into Parliament" doesn't mean "Introduced into law". It means the bill has been introduced into the legislature and it has to be voted on.

    Now, it takes a really special kind of idiot to not see the difference, so I have no reason to think this is not intentional fearmongering.

    Slashdot did the exact same thing when this kind of

  • Big Brother is now very definitely watching you and police powers have been abused in the past in this country. What is to stop N.S.W. police planting evidence in computers and houses they do search covertly? Life just got a whole lot more dangerous even if you are a "good law abiding citizen" that is unless you are using cyberforcefield its the only way to keep the snoops and hackers out

"There is nothing new under the sun, but there are lots of old things we don't know yet." -Ambrose Bierce

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