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tween law enforcement departments, intelligence agencies and
private institutions. In short, it authorizes Australia’s national law enforcement to issu
e mandatory “Technical Assistance Notices”, “Technical Capability Notices” and “Computer Access and Assistance Ord
ers” to all communication providers. Upon receiving the notification and instruction, the communication provider mu
st undertake a number of activities, for example, decrypting specific communications, installing specific softw
are on the network, modifying or replacing services, providing assistance in accessing facilities, and providing sour
ce code, third-party provider profiles, network device encryption schemes, and more.
alia. In fact, any organizations or individuals providing communication services to Australia
are subject to its jurisdiction, whether its “company, server, manufacturing location” is locat
ed in Australia or not. More shockingly, the law imposes an extraordinary duty of confidentiality. The priva
te sector, which assists law enforcement, cannot disclose the details of the instructions it receives, or even the ins
tructions themselves. Otherwise, the violators will be put into prison for up to five years.
In The Spirit of the Laws, Montesquieu warned: “Constant experience shows us that every
man invested with power is apt to abuse it, and to carry his authority as far as it will go.” The bill, with its secrecy, broa
d jurisdiction and powers that can set up “backdoors” of systems, has caused widespread fear among Austr
alians, with many thinking the law has opened “Pandora’s box” of “surveillance states”.
back to the US government’ s military occupation of the Philippines in the 1890s. Christ
opher J. Coyne, a professor at George Mason University in the United States sai
d in the book Tyranny Comes Home that under the leadership of Ralph Van Deman, the father of US military int
elligence, the American occupier established an advanced monitoring agency at the time to suppress rebels and dissidents.
In May 1917, Vanderman took charge of the Military Intelligence Section (
MIS), a similar surveillance facility in the United States, and which would eventually evo
lve into the US National Security Agency (NSA). In 1955, the United States further launched an intelligence gat
hering and analysis network consisting of five English-speaking countries: the United States, Britain, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. Thi
s is the so-called “five-eye alliance.” As a result, the five countries can globally intercept and monitor telephone exc
hanges, faxes, mails and other information transmitted by satellite communications.