I found this YouTube video by chance it dates back to 2012 but I feel this is significant as revealing foundational support for communications intercepts.
It is a Senate hearing on Legal and Constitutional Affairs Joint Committee.
It is interesting listening to the police. I am aware of unquestioned power and avoidance of important questions.
Former Senator Ludlam asks about the Australian Federal Polices (AFP) role in the lead up to the announcement of this committee, play some part for terms of reference, material for the discussion paper. They said yes.
I found that concerning as a citizen.
The AFP is a user of the Telecommunications interception Act.
Content of the proposed Bill and strategic issues.
Attorney Generals meetings and telecommunications company involving the AFP.
Deputy Commissioner spoke to every jurisdictions important for Australian Law enforcement.
AFP decided to take a leadership role, former commissioners have a united front in the law enforcement perspective. States and territories do use interception, involved but no voice.
Public Submission to committee AFP position is clear. Operational examples around methodology.
Idea that you would send a deputy commissioner around the country to get everybody on the same page before you gave evidence. The AFP speaker exhibited stress when challenged.
Without taking down notes on this session I wish to convey impressions. As a citizen I am reliant on the ethics, intelligence and capacity of Senators to protect our interests. I can understand that the Australian Federal Police believe it is essential to access metadata but I do not feel confident that they would not do fishing exercises or be tempted to access communications, browsing history and essentially gathering all metadata. The temptation to have this legalised is clearly evident as they are indicating they have 23,000 warrant requests and not enough Judges, they state.
What happens when the police is policiticised similar to the Bjelke Petersen regime or the close working relationship with the current Home Affairs department. Where is the line between a stazi form of political persecution or targeting and a bonifide police service (not force) as law enforcement? What we witness as citizens as these lines change depending on who is in power. Clearly the Attorney General’s Department is the government solicitor so evidence based legal information would be what is wanted as this department is housed by lawyers. In my own experience of lawyers there is a difference between an intention for justice and winning the case. I recently had an experience whereby a Court requested my address to return a USB I had submitted to the court in 2014 it is now 2020. Why 6 years later out of the blue would they return my USB. I noted that key files were deleted from my USB and unknown files were on the USB. I wrote to the Chief Justice and a Court Registrar came back to me threatening me to take the matter to court if I am not satisfied. I stated that when I am not satisfied I seek the truth of a matter and court action would never occur to me. What I saw through legal mind sets was to use the Court as a form of fighting rather than Justice. I have worked for the police in a temporary capacity and noted some had come from military backgrounds as this is a regimented form of organisation. Military intelligence would have intercepted communications without warrants, Pine Gap would intercept communications without warrants, foreign intelligence via telecommunications companies (not Australian) would have intercepted communications (both metadata and content) without a warrant. So it seems the police would be the only ones feeling constrained hence the trip around the country to encourage a ‘voice’. I did smile at that statement as the public has no voice and the AFP has a considerable voice. So I saw that as not about a voice but influence to encourage data and communications interception. At the time of these meetings Optus was engaged in trying to break up the monopoly of Telstra indicating it was inefficient when it was not. The issues of privacy are the most important issues from a citizens perspective. What we are witnessing today as a result of these meetings prior to 2012 is that everyone’s phone calls are monitored, data collected and profiled. People are concerned at talking to their friends to then see ads pop up trying to sell them something. So their conversation was not private. As a former market analyst myself I am very aware that telecommunications multinationals do not have any sense public mandated expectation of privacy. Yes they talk about privacy statements but for the most part, they take away our rights the moment we tick the box in respect of terms and conditions. We have absolutely no say over who takes our information, we do not know who they are or who they share our data with. We are not briefed about the 5 Eyes (10 Eyes) network inclusive of US intelligence. If a person is a Person of Interest (POI) which I am sure I am, then they believe they have the right to tap phones, surveil, monitor not because that person is a threat in a negative sense but they may be claiming their democratic rights, as I have done in the public interest. I have been shocked as a citizen to be filmed at protests, have photos taken, facial recognition when I walked to Parliament to make homelessness visible. I know I had facial recognition as when I walked through the Woden Plaza outside court area I saw a bright light come on (no-one else around) and I knew I had been facially recognised. This was because I attended the Inquiry into the impact of the exercise of law enforcement and intelligence powers on the freedom of the press on 14 August 2019. I was interested to know why ASIO was located physically at parliament. I drove there in my mother’s car. A few days later she is pulled over by the police. I happened to be walking parallel (in the evening) to notice flashing lights not realising my mum was being stopped. We both believe they thought it was me. So why would the police be doing that? They could say it was a breath test, she is 80 years old. So as a citizen seeking the truth, standing up for real peace (balance, harmony) and embracing democracy I felt myself to be profiled and targeted.
So Senator Ludham’s annoying questions to the AFP were actually extremely important. I saw the strange look on the plain clothes policeman (Assistant Commissioner) after a question was asked, the moment Ludham turned away his feelings were visible, it was a disturbing intense look revealing his anger and fear at being asked. I felt they do not like being held to account and I wondered what the truth was. I also contemplated power issues where they have too much power.
From their perspective they think they do not have enough power as other intelligence gathering agencies can get what they want, circumvent laws, as we learned from Edward Snowden’s disclosures and Julian Assange. We saw the criminality, lack of respect, intrusion into private lives and the ability to take out people or set them up to serve interests or apply pressure. We are learning about pedophilia at the highest levels used as leverage, black operations to create more fear in our society so we hand over our power.
This Brave New World they are either wittingly or unwittingly contributing to is not about balancing investigation and privacy, in my view, it is about increasing control over our lives and increasingly regarding differences of opinion, challenges, leaks or dissent as somehow a problem to be criminalised when it is necessary that people debate, be challenged and double check their decisions are in fact in the public interest. As the public pay their wages, yet they forget this as ‘business as usual’ takes over, or objectives or foreign law enforcement influence shows them how to get around the public interest test. This is not what the public want.
The gentleman with the yellow bow tie from the Attorney General’s Department came across as arrogant and rude in his ‘single syllable’ comment. As he too exhibited power and privilege which made me feel as a citizen that we have no rights as the class divide perceives itself as having the right to rule without question, diminishing the importance of public oversight in their power games. They suppress their annoyance at any suggestion of improper conduct or undue influence as they know it is publicly filmed and it is the media that restrains them rather than thoughtful conscience about the implications of getting it ‘wrong’.
Today we are in a situation where foreign intelligence (notably the Deep State – unaccountable intelligence capability without government oversight and operating as corporate interests – are having disproportionate influence over our leaders, sovereignty and day to day lives. They have their own agenda, black ops, business interests that have nothing to do with the Australian people yet our taxes are used to fund risk, purchase their weapons as private interests redirect public money under the name of defence or national security. We see a shrinking of the public sector as public/private partnership deals incur debt and assets are increasingly transferred without public debate in alignment with global ‘smart cities’ agendas which collect public data without oversight. So how can we believe people in positions of power are working in the public interest?
I have real concerns about corruption, espionage and treason given merged unaccountable interests. The same issues are being raised in the United States and Britain as empire is still embedded in old paradigms that cannot respond to the environmental collapse and move to Cultures of Peace, inclusivity and real sustainability (free energy). For when the fear is de-escalated, secrecy becomes truly repugnant (as US President J.F. Kennedy) and the community have a say over what happens in their name rather than shutting us down and then controlling us through metadata. Lastly, the issue of terrorism is increasingly being understood as an inside job given the Project for a New American Century, the Bush Oil Cartel and the Clinton Foundation etc. all involved in activities coming to light that are illegal. The wars were illegal as profit was the motive. This is all ignored as we pretend the Emperor has Clothes when he is naked in his corruption. So in light of massive surveillance and corruption the public are not safe when government’s hand over all their records to privatised telecommunication companies who can only see dollars not rights.
So below is the Senate hearing excerpt that I believe sets the scene for the bigger conversation of metadata in the hands of foreigners infiltrating through business, public institutions and politics all in the name of power, greed and self interest.
Sadly, the Green’s Senator Scott Ludlam was removed from politics citing his New Zealand citizenship. Yet he was a true advocate for the public interest. Australians lost when he was removed for political purposes. As genuine debate is not invited in corridors of power but rather viewed as a war which is all about winning. The suppression of freedom of speech, human rights, privacy and truth is not in the public interest.