Governments around the world have been working in secret to institute blanket surveillance on all of us. The PRISM system operated by the National Security Agency (NSA) in the US has the ability to store unimaginable amounts of private data. The Australian Government, as part of the Five Eyes surveillance agreement, takes part in this program. This exposes all of the private data of all Australians, and treats us all as suspects. We believe that the ability to have privacy and to be free of systematic blanket surveillance are rights worth protecting.
This election, we offer a series of policies that will protect the privacy of all Australians, ensure transparency of government, and offer positive change on digital and civil issues.
Let us show you 16 reasons why you should vote 1 Pirate Party.
We should not be treated as suspects by default. Giving the government power without judicial and legislative oversight is undemocratic and perilous to our freedom. We will make sure that oversight is present and that warrants will only be issued where a targeted investigation is taking place. We will ensure there are clear and unambiguous definitions applied to any legislation regarding electronic communications.
Our modern digital devices leave behind a "digital exhaust" of information — some of which is essential for their operation and some of which is unnecessary. Regardless of the type of data, we will promote laws that limit the purposes for which it can be used without your express permission. Your data should not be given to law enforcement officers without a judicial warrant, nor should it be sold to marketers.
Censorship sweeps the very problems it tries to solve under the rug and gives the government a dangerously blunt tool for blocking information. We believe parents should be responsible for looking after their children, and that education is the most effective means to do this. Willing parents can easily control the content their children view online without a government-controlled filter.
The Privacy Commissioner of Australia is not keeping up with rapidly changing technology. Right now, for example, more and more retail outlets and shopping centres are able to track our movements through our mobile phones, and they are able to do this without consequence. The Pirate Party will ensure that we don't lose our right to privacy when we step outside our front door or make a phone call.
The use of CCTV in Australia is growing, despite little evidence that its presence reduces or prevents crime. As the use of this technology grows, the Pirate Party will introduce legislation to ensure that local government is abiding by privacy laws and not infringing your civil liberties.
Freedom of the press cannot exist without the right to protect sources. We will ensure journalists can continue to rely on and be trusted by confidential sources, so that they can report information that is essential to the public interest.
Currently, organisations such as ASIO are exempt from the FoI Act. Documents should only be made exempt based on set criteria, and no organisations or departments should be completely exempt by statute.
In 2012, the United Nations passed a landmark resolution that declared the Internet to be a fundamental human right. The same rights that people take for granted offline must be also enshrined online. An international treaty can guarantee this now and for future generations.
Indiscriminate collection of data violates the right to privacy. The use of data mining techniques in law enforcement leads to unacceptable errors that infringe the rights of innocent people. The Pirate Party will introduce legislation with stricter rules about whose information can be collected and how long it can be held.
Companies can build extensive profiles even when you are not a user of their service. It is important that you can find out what data is collected and what is known by governments and corporations. The Pirate Party will ensure that you have full control over the commercial collection and use of your personal information.
Whistleblowers are an integral part of any democracy, exposing government and corporate wrongdoing. The right to expose corruption must be protected to enable transparency in government and to ensure future whistleblowers are not deterred.
Just as we have a Privacy Commissioner to oversee our privacy rights as citizens and consumers, so too we must have a Human Rights Commissioner responsible for the preservation of our fundamental civil liberties. In a rapidly changing world, many rights we take for granted are in danger of being lost. With a Commissioner, we can have a dedicated office bearer responsible for any breaches of human rights legislation.
The ICCPR provides baseline protection for essential civil rights including physical integrity, liberty, due process and the presumption of innocence. It also protects freedom of movement, thought, conscience and religion, speech, association and assembly, privacy, non-discrimination and equality before the law. To legislate these into our domestic law would provide strong and explicit legal protection for civil liberties, something which Australians currently lack.
A bill of rights would enshrine vital rights, making them part of the Constitution that governs Australia. This means that no Parliament or government could deprive us of our fundamental rights. By introducing a bill of rights to Australia, our judicial system could declare laws that violate our rights to be unconstitutional and invalid.
A company should be obliged to inform its clients in a timely manner when control of their data is lost. This allows clients to best judge the risk of continued use of the company's services and to take steps to mitigate the loss. We will support any changes to privacy legislation that would require a company to report all data breaches.
Body scanners and invasive pat-downs are an assault on our dignity and an unnecessary piece of security theatre that do nothing to prevent terrorist attacks. We will only support using security measures that have been proven to increase the safety of passengers, and forego procedures that are unnecessarily invasive or that do not add to passenger safety.
The above is just a subset of our evidence-based, detailed policy set. We look forward to representing you in the Senate.
Vote 1 Pirate Party in the Senate!
Authorised by Brendan Molloy, Pirate Party Australia, 26 Emerton Street, Evatt ACT 2617 Australia