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Prisoner Responses to Terrorism: Online Radicalisation Proposal

3.0 RELEVANT AUSTRALIAN LEGISLATION

The Australian Government has also unveiled a three-stage legislative amendment approach to change and alter existing anti-terrorism laws. The National Security Legislation Amendment Bill (No. 1) 2014 enables the following:
• One warrant to cover a whole computer network which subsequently allows Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) officials to intercept and disrupt certain operations of targeted computers. The amendment also allows the usage of third party computers to access computers under surveillance.
• ASIO officers are immune from criminal and civil prosecution under the covert "Special Intelligence Operation" protocol.
• The Australian Secret Intelligence Service (ASIS) may spy on Australians overseas in cooperation with ASIO with less executive supervision.
• The penalty for disclosing information about a special intelligence operation has increased to a maximum of five years imprisonment and 10 years imprisonment if it can be proven that the person involved had the intention to endanger or harm somebody.
• ASIO tasks and powers have broadened to extend to contractors and public services.

The Counter-Terrorism Legislation Amendment (Foreign Fighters) Bill that passed in 2014 denoted the following changes:
• The process to identify, to charge and to prosecute Australians who have been engaged in international terrorist activities has been streamlined.
• If suspected of any act of terror or terror-related, the person's passport may be suspended for up to 14 days.
• It is now an offence to travel or remain situated in a declared terrorist activity area without validation (for example, family and/or humanitarian purposes).
• The application of law has been broadened from a terrorist activity to terrorism.
• It is now an offence to advocate terrorism in any way (including social media). Engaging in such an act carries a maximum penalty of five years imprisonment.
• The threshold for authorities to be granted control orders and preventative detention orders has been considerably lowered.
• Welfare payments may be cut from those who have had their passports cancelled and thus have been assessed to be a serious threat.

The most recent piece of legislation in regards to anti-terrorism is the Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Amendment (Data Retention) Act 2015 (Cth). While this was implemented with the intent to prevent potential consequences of radicalisation through surveillance and data retention, its impact in terms of early de-radicalisation is yet to be seen. As such, the Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Amendment (Data Retention) Bill 2014 aimed to consolidate the following purposes within the legislation:
• Facilitate the access security agencies have to data in order to ensure that the information received is sufficient to formulate a case that is 'reasonably necessary' to an investigation.
• Ensure the requirement that security agencies need warrants before accessing the specific content of private correspondence.
• Reduce the quantity of agencies that have access to data.
• Limit the access to various forms of stored communication including text messages and emails.
• Introduce an independent oversight mechanism that allows the Commonwealth Ombudsman to access agency records in order to increase privacy protections.

 

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