The Aussie government has decided that a cyber spying law is about as toxic to its election chances as a bite by a red-back on the toilet seat.
The move, which will see the web history of all Aussies stored for up to two years, is fairly controversial. Australian spooks were desperate for more powers and had their people draft legislation to expand internet surveillance and security powers.
However according to the Sydney Morning Herald, Attorney-General Nicola Roxon decided to first refer a discussion paper to a parliamentary committee and they realised that the chances of them being elected with a row about internet surveillance going on were limited.
The national security discussion paper released looked at proposals for compulsory internet data retention, forcing people to give up computer passwords, streamlining telecommunications interception approvals, and enhancing stop and search powers for the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation.
The spooks are furious as the move means that they will have to wait until they can scare the beejasus out of a new government with their stories of a terrorist or criminal threat.
A top spook told the SMH that Roxon’s decision to refer the proposals to the parliamentary joint committee for intelligence and security was symptomatic of “the risk adverse character of the government”. In other words, the government was just plain yellow and did not want to upset anyone too close to the election.
He said that the reforms were urgently needed to deal with a rapidly evolving security environment.