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Australian Police given authority to take over social media accounts, delete data

Cyber-spying

The Australian government has a bill that bolsters police authority in surveilling and catching criminals over the Internet.

Known as the Surveillance Legislation Amendment (Identify and Disrupt) Bill 2020, this newly passed legislation essentially allows police officers to modify and delete data owned by suspected violators, gather intelligence on networks used by criminals, and seize control of a suspect’s online accounts.

It only took 24 hours for the bill to pass, as both houses of congress in Australia approved the bill with little to no resistance from opposing lawmakers. The bill is meant to target cybercriminals involved in organized crime and child abuse, including those who enjoy anonymity and privacy inside the dark web.

While the police must acquire one of three warrants to perform these powers, critics of the amendment say it effectively makes the Australian police its own judge, jury, and executioner. Obtaining the warrants doesn’t even need the approval of a judge.

Source: The Guardian

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