Police spy on web, phone usage with no warrants

Philip Dorling
Sydney Morning Herald

LAW enforcement and government departments are accessing vast quantities of phone and internet usage data without warrants, prompting warnings from the Greens of a growing ”surveillance state” and calls by privacy groups for tighter controls.

Figures released by the federal Attorney-General’s Department show that federal and state government agencies accessed telecommunications data and internet logs more than 250,000 times during criminal and revenue investigations in 2010-11.

The Greens senator Scott Ludlam highlighted the statistics while calling for tighter controls on access to mobile device location information.

”There should be a higher standard of proof, or a higher standard of cause needing to be shown, to track down your every location through your life than there is for reading your email,” he said at a recent conference on internet privacy.

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