Data Retention's Slippery Slope: Now Australian Police Want Warrantless Access To Bank Accounts

from the and-then-what? dept

As Techdirt has reported, data retention laws are being introduced around the world. One of the less obvious but most pernicious effects of this development is the banalization of surveillance it brings with it. People begin to find it normal that they are spied on by their government whatever they are doing, and accept without a murmur that the police can do so without a warrant. A good example of what this can lead to has surfaced in the Australian state of New South Wales (NSW), where the police are pushing for new powers:

The NSW Police Force would no longer require a judge's sign-off to gain access to the bank statements of people they suspect are engaging in criminal conduct under a police proposal before the NSW government.

The proposal would change the status quo, which requires a magistrate or registrar of a court to sign off on a "notice to produce" before police can force banking institutions to hand over documentation, such as a suspected criminal's bank statements.
What's significant is that in the article quoted above, which appears in The Sydney Morning Herald, Australia's new data retention laws are explicitly cited as a justification for the move:
[The head of NSW Police's Fraud and Cyber Crime Squad] likened the proposal to the way telecommunications metadata -- such as the time a call was made, to whom, and for how long -- is sought from telcos, which requires only the sign-off a senior officer before companies, such as Telstra or Optus, divulge such information.
Although the request from the police has not been granted -- so far, at least -- it's a sign of where things are going. It's also a great demonstration of the slippery slope: once you agree that warrantless access to personal data is acceptable in one sphere, it's much harder to argue against it in other situations.

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Filed Under: australia, banks, data retention, law enforcement, police


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  • identicon
    me, 18 Jun 2015 @ 4:32am

    Just say no.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Brad, 18 Jun 2015 @ 7:02am

    That justification is nothing to do with data retention. Police have been able to get metadata without a warrant since 1979. Retention just means the metadata is there when they ask for it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 18 Jun 2015 @ 7:24am

    Your government is your enemy.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    yoopy plonky coink, 18 Jun 2015 @ 7:34am

    fascists

    Yep all the politicians in australia have been friggin fascist wankers. They spy they fuck with the people who elected them, you just cant trust these absolute wankers. The sooner they fuck off and die the better. the cunts

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Colin Barnett, 18 Jun 2015 @ 7:35am

    Colin Barnett is a cunt

    Fucking cock sucking cunt

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 19 Jun 2015 @ 8:13pm

      Re: Colin Barnett is a cunt

      However Colin Barnett is a Western Australian cunt, not a slippery NSW Bairded cunt where this story is from.

      NSW is so full of RWNJ cunts they even have the Gile to export them to the Northern Territory.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 18 Jun 2015 @ 7:58am

    The punch-drunk lunatic neanderthal current Australian PM is preparing to introduce legislation that allows the executive to unilaterally revoke the Australian citizenship of "suspected terrorists". No courts, not accountability, no transparency, just Cunty and his yokel, football hooligan cunt brigade ruling by dictate.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    tqk (profile), 18 Jun 2015 @ 8:56am

    "Warrants are hard!" -- Barbie police officer.

    We need to get some of our smarter people to do a study to determine what of the warranting process is so objectionable to law enforcement. Obviously, for reasons which escape us laymen, they appear to view getting a warrant to be on par with getting a root canal.

    What wierd seance type !@#$ are these judges forcing well meaning cops to go through in order to get their warrants signed? I can see no other reason (other than the obvious "laziness" explanation) why cops around the world have come to this conclusion independently.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 18 Jun 2015 @ 11:38am

      Re: "Warrants are hard!" -- Barbie police officer.

      One or two words, depending on how you describe it.

      "Accountability"

      "Paper trail"

      Police and government agencies really don't like the idea that they'd actually have to justify or defend their action to anyone else, ever, or that people would be able to know what they were doing or asking for.

      No warrant also means that there's no limits, meaning they can do whatever they want, and search wherever they want, and anything they find is fair game.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 18 Jun 2015 @ 4:59pm

        Re: Re: "Warrants are hard!" -- Barbie police officer.

        don't forget to take over and rain any accounts they want as well. They just have to say oh this account is tied to crimes we cannot say because of state security.

        On an unrelated note we now have money for more toys for ourselves

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Max (profile), 18 Jun 2015 @ 10:01am

    How about this instead:

    Not only will I not even give you the time of the day without a warrant - you're not even allowed TO ASK.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Kronomex, 18 Jun 2015 @ 3:39pm

    Our corporate run gubmint here in Osstrayya is using Orwell's book as a manual.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 18 Jun 2015 @ 4:26pm

      Re:

      Our current government is no different to the previous government. Remember that we only had 3 MP's not agree to the new monitoring legislation.

      Much as they both bluster when in opposition, once in power, all political parties will do what they want irrespective of the needs of the country.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 18 Jun 2015 @ 6:43pm

        Re: Re:

        The Greens do not take corporate donations and have opposed all of the surveillance state bills. They're not perfect but they are a hell of a lot better then the fake "2 party" parties. Just don't vote in the lower house (assuming you're in a safe 2 party seat) as the broken Australian electoral system redirects all votes to the 2 parties.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 18 Jun 2015 @ 11:48pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          If the Greens are anything like the local fella who stands for them at each election, then they are also off the list. He is by far the worst of candidates in the local electorate, even including the independents. He is a professional (I won't mention what profession) and I don't know of anyone who actually likes him except his own family. Strangely enough, I have heard good things said about his wife. Though that's probably not strange around here as there are quite a few professional men who have very poor reputations but their wives are well thought of.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 18 Jun 2015 @ 5:09pm

    No expectation of privacy...

    in records held by another party (the banks), right?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    GEMont, 19 Jun 2015 @ 1:40pm

    The long "reach" of the Law

    You know the old saying:

    Give a crook an inch and he'll try and get your bank account number.

    ...or, more up to date,

    Give a crook a badge and he will steal everything you own, legally.

    ---

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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