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Australian Police Given Covert Search and Hacking Powers

samzenpus posted more than 5 years ago | from the big-brother dept.

The Courts 122

An anonymous reader writes "The NSW government of Australia has quietly introduced new police powers for covert home searches and covert hacking of computers. The suspect may not be notified of the covert activity for up to three years. These new powers are similar to those given to the UK police earlier this year. The new warrants can only be issued in the Supreme Court for suspected serious offences punishable by at least seven years jail — which includes computer crime offences."

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122 comments

Ah, but I know all the tricks (5, Funny)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 5 years ago | (#27074281)

Like putting a single eyelash on the door to see if it's been opened. But the better trick is the ol' bucket of water on top.

Re:Ah, but I know all the tricks (1)

Farmer Tim (530755) | more than 5 years ago | (#27074637)

Water? That's a bit lame [activityvillage.co.uk] on the prank [createforless.com] scale [wikipedia.org].

Re:Ah, but I know all the tricks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27081059)

Yes, but it's a tradeoff. A bucket of water achieves the primary goal of letting you know somebody's entered the room, and makes said person uncomfortable, while being relatively harmless to the room. A bucket of dye or hydrofluoric acid will also let you know somebody's been in the room, and may be more "fun", but they have an unpleasant side effect of causing significant damage to the room.

Re:Ah, but I know all the tricks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27075115)

Bikie Gang Drug Distribution Houses exempt!

Bloody hard to covertly enter the Bikie premises past the doorman and the dogs - or fortified crack houses.
And they have a pile of sim cards to swap and take on 'rides'.

So saying Lawyers offices can be raided too - so they do it, or tax advice on a surfboard .. let them sneak up in shark infested waters..

Theory and power is different to practicalities.

Re:Ah, but I know all the tricks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27076087)

Don't you run out of eyelashes if you do this every day?

Re:Ah, but I know all the tricks (1)

r3zurector (964298) | more than 5 years ago | (#27076435)

Don't you run out of eyelashes if you do this every day?

You don't use your own eyelashes. You use your victims! All you have to do if you are about to run out is go grab another!

No, you're doing it wrong. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27077145)

The eyelash is a distraction, the real trick is to put a pencil lead on the door hinges to see if the door has been opened. if the eyelash on the door is on the floor, you don't need to worry, it was your mom cleaning your bedroom.

But if the eyelash is still in place, and the pencil lead was broken, it's the IPOL who searched your room.

Now if you excuse me, I have to buy some apples for my shinigami friend.

- Yagami Light.

Re:No, you're doing it wrong. (1)

troll8901 (1397145) | more than 5 years ago | (#27079093)

But if the eyelash is still in place, and the pencil lead was broken, it's the IPOL who searched your room.

How would you yourself enter the room without disturbing the lead? What if a trench coat misses the eyelash, yet enters the room in your style?

I'd say, establish safe houses all over the country - ten in each state! Even more than Eraser (film) [wikipedia.org].

I think I watch too many Arnold Schwarzenegger movies. :)

The Cops should target one of their own or... (4, Interesting)

freedom_india (780002) | more than 5 years ago | (#27074299)

As a first step, the cops should target one of their own for secret investigation. Will they do it?
How would Peter Costello or Nathan Rees react if they were targeted for such an investigation?
Why don't the politicians confiscate the super annuation of corrupt politicians [abc.net.au]?
What prevents them passing such a law?
And last of all, why are politicians around the world so intent on destroying the last shred of privacy of the Common man under the guise of terrorism?
First USA (thanks Bush), UK, Australia, Germany and lastly even Canada.
Why?

Re:The Cops should target one of their own or... (4, Insightful)

Capsaicin (412918) | more than 5 years ago | (#27074331)

Why?

Because the voting public let them get away with it. As long as the majoriry of voters are more concerned with voting in favour of tax cuts and a harsher criminal justice system than with safeguarding civil liberties it will be so.

If you feel strongly enough about this kind of thing, don't just sit around and moan on slashdot. Become active, educate, make this an issue.

Re:The Cops should target one of their own or... (1)

zblack_eagle (971870) | more than 5 years ago | (#27074443)

From what I've seen the majority of voters persistently vote for whichever party their family has always voted for. Most of the remainder of the voters pick out of whatever parties or candidates get positive or neutral media coverage.

Considering how polar issues have been portrayed for the convenience of sound bites, politicians tend to have to be perceived as being the whole "tough on [issue x,y,etc]" deal. They don't want to be sympathisers of criminals/terrorists/child molesters/etc now do they?

Re:The Cops should target one of their own or... (5, Interesting)

freedom_india (780002) | more than 5 years ago | (#27074813)

don't just sit around and moan on slashdot. Become active, educate, make this an issue.

No. Did NOT just sit ariund and moan.
In the country am presently, in, the Indian Government already has repealed the US-equivalent of PATRIOT Act and has no intention of bringing it back.
Secondly, the parliment has passed a law that outlaws arrests by cops without due warning.
Meaning, they can't just barge into my house, drag me away screaming with a no-knock warrant. They gotta serve me with a written paper detailing charged against me, wait for 15 days and if meanwhile the court doesn't stop, they can arrest me.
Yes, the usual local neocons (lawyers) protested this saying it will help criminals escape.
But the local protests supporting the law were a LOT HUGE overwhelming the neocons.
As a result all political parties have started supporting it, since they risk losing their seats otherwise.
Third, the Supreme Court has strongly supported the law and says it balances the rights and has said that even though the law will let a few criminals escape, it will allow many innocents avoid being arrested in first place.
Talk about grassroots democracy!

Re:The Cops should target one of their own or... (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 5 years ago | (#27075097)

I think i've found my new home.

What's the policy between UK / US and India regarding extradition? I'm no criminal, but I don't want to be the next McKinnon just because I said something America or England didn't like.

Re:The Cops should target one of their own or... (4, Interesting)

freedom_india (780002) | more than 5 years ago | (#27075777)

UK and India share the commonwealth policies: Child abuse, terrorism, murder extraditions.
USA and India share the UN rules: --ditto--.
Beyond that nothing much.
Add to that the Election Commission is as fiercely independent as possible and competition pretty hot amongst politicians.

Net Neutrality is already a law since 2001 here (not many indians know this), and local providers who attempted to subvert it were quickly shut down by Telecom Ministry. However the maximum bandwidth is about 2Mbps anywhere for individual connections. 8Mbps is available for business connections.
The remaining ISPs are wiser now.
But the ISPs rally don't care what you do with it. Once you pay them about $112 per month for unlimited, they leave you alone.

The Central Banker whips errant banks into shape quickly (15 days maximum time to respond). I have used the facility to complain about 4 banks regarding personal loans, credit cards and fraud. All the time, when the local branch of Indian Fed "enquired" to the errant bank, they responded positively and either waived the excess charges or refunded deducted money or in one case sent me the original note of someone else's mortgage!
Yeah, the Fed here is hard task master. Its officers are recruited from inside and from colleges. And the Governer is answerable to the Government every six months. It has a huge independence, and considers every bank to be a criminal unless the bank proves otherwise.
Which means if you complain to the Fed about a particular bank's practices, you get default judgement many a time unless the bank manages to convince the Fed otherwise with proof acceptable to you(which means you get judgement).

Courts have become increasingly aggressive in dealing with cops violating rules and impose mandatory imprisonments and fines on them. (of course some elected officials shouted against this practice and threatened laws, but backed down when the court threatened them with contempt of court).

The local FOIA is like a bible to these guys. File a request and you can be guaranteed of information within 7 days. hell some even invite you to their office, share coffee with you, and send you with information.
A couple of officials thought they were above FOIA, and the courts swiftly imprisoned them. Shook the esablishment so much that now they bend backwards to be open even without an FOIA.
I was able to change the property tax evaluations, electricity information and charges just by talking to the commissioner about FOIA.

The voting public are not given a choice (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27075221)

It's all very well to say that it is because the voting public let them get away with it, but the voting public are not given a vote on the legislation. All they can do is vote for a representative - who then usually proceeds to represent the interests of business rather than the voter.

Voting only gets you what you want if there is a candidate who will carry out your wishes.

Re:The Cops should target one of their own or... (4, Insightful)

MrNaz (730548) | more than 5 years ago | (#27074537)

Why?

Because western society has degenerated to a democratic show where the public are convinced they are free because they get to choose between two essentially identical political rulers with the exact same hidden agendas.

And we have the arrogance to think we have the right to go around "liberating" other nations. Oh, the irony.

Re:The Cops should target one of their own or... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27075547)

Because western society has degenerated [...] And we have the arrogance to think [...]

Hey, speak for yourself. I'll agree with your first statement, but at least MY western society doesn't feel the need to go around attacking others.

Re:The Cops should target one of their own or... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27076915)

And we have the arrogance to think we have the right to go around "liberating" other nations. Oh, the irony.

What makes you think that's what we are doing?

Re:The Cops should target one of their own or... (2, Insightful)

Heather D (1279828) | more than 5 years ago | (#27080617)

Western society is decadent. We care about image to the exclusion of all else. This means, among other things, that you can get away with almost anything provided you have enough influence.

Re:The Cops should target one of their own or... (3, Informative)

tg123 (1409503) | more than 5 years ago | (#27074791)

As a first step, the cops should target one of their own for secret investigation. Will they do it?

I agree with you, However there are two issues that come to mind

1) the mind set : police in australia will not arrest there own. http://blogs.news.com.au/news/crime/index.php/news/comments/policing_the_police/ [news.com.au]

2) Investigations into police can bring up more dirt then they can handle . http://www.theage.com.au/national/police-watchdog-sacks-own-investigator-20090304-8oic.html [theage.com.au]

How would Peter Costello or Nathan Rees react if they were targeted for such an investigation?

The investigators would be told to cease. The powers that be know that the damage would be too great.

Why don't the politicians confiscate the super annuation of corrupt politicians ? [abc.net.au] What prevents them passing such a law?

[sarcasm warning] What are you suggesting that they get denied there right? every politician knows that if they serve the time they get the rewards.

Also for a lot of politicians its there retirement fund, imagine if they got caught doing something naughty and they had to go into a nursing home with the great unwashed - (the horror)

And last of all, why are politicians around the world so intent on destroying the last shred of privacy of the Common man under the guise of terrorism? First USA (thanks Bush), UK, Australia, Germany and lastly even Canada. Why?

there bastards

Re:The Cops should target one of their own or... (1)

freedom_india (780002) | more than 5 years ago | (#27074841)

I hate it when the lawmakers make laws and then turn around, bare their brown bottoms to the public and state the laws don't apply to the lawmakers.
Why doesn't the Supreme Court intervene and strike down these laws?
After all even a 3rd world country like India has struck down PATRIOT acts, passes laws that prevent Police from making unannounced arrests, and convicts politicians.
 

Re:The Cops should target one of their own or... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27075285)

Their, their, their! Dear god man, learn to syntax.

dear mr/ms syntax (-1, Offtopic)

tg123 (1409503) | more than 5 years ago | (#27075891)

Dear Mr/Ms syntax. (Whom it may concern)

Will have to employ you as a prove reader.

Did you understand the meaning or did some noise get in the way?

I'm not writing an english essay and I do not really care. I figure english is such a bastard of a language syntax does not not matter.

Did you ever feel pity for someone who could not see the forest for the trees?

Re:The Cops should target one of their own or... (1)

b4upoo (166390) | more than 5 years ago | (#27075747)

I have opined that no government can tolerate the free flow of communications. If the common man can communicate with enough people he will soon gain insights which cause him to be at odds with his government. Choking communications is the response of governments which perceive a dangerous degree of freedom in their population.

Treating Australia like a country of criminals? (5, Funny)

Tyrannicalposter (1347903) | more than 5 years ago | (#27074307)

Oh wait, I forgot.

Re:Treating Australia like a country of criminals? (2, Interesting)

Goldenjera (1040584) | more than 5 years ago | (#27074701)

Some people actually paid to come to this country. Australia is full of land, something the U.K. did not have very much of.

Politically - Australia is full of people who do not understand the internet (for example - that internet filtering thing) and will not vote for a government which understands the internet, and respects our civil liberties.

News response... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27074325)

These new powers have been put in place to allow the police to intercept message-carrying kangaroos, a long time lifeblood of the criminal underworld. In response, crime syndicates have begun equiping their kangaroos with laser beams.

Re:News response... (2, Funny)

daveime (1253762) | more than 5 years ago | (#27074887)

What's that Skippy ?

The drugs are hidden in the old mine ?
The police are hiding in the back of the farm ?
And little Jimmy has been taken out once and for all ?

Skippy, Skippy, Skippy the crack Kangeroo ...
Skippy, Skippy, there's a laser on his head for me and you ...
(Sorry, doesn't scan very well)

I bet Skippy tastes good (0, Offtopic)

tg123 (1409503) | more than 5 years ago | (#27075243)

kangaroo steak is yummy

(loading gun)

here skippy here skippy .....

Yeah, this will last.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27074343)

..for about three years.

Re:Yeah, this will last.. (1)

MrNaz (730548) | more than 5 years ago | (#27074541)

Yea, it'll be just like the last time the government destroyed civil liberties and people then voted for the other party and it was all reversed.

Does not sound so bad (4, Interesting)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 5 years ago | (#27074383)

I usually get upset when I hear about new powers being granted to the U.S, U.K, and Australia. However, all of those involve searches that violate the 4th amendment (U.S) and our privacy and do not have the checks and balances provided for by the judicial courts.

The new warrants can only be issued in the Supreme Court for suspected serious offences punishable by at least seven years jail -- which includes computer crime offences.

They seem to be asking for warrants, and at a high level. That does not seem so bad, and in fact is all that I am really asking for. Checks and balances.

This is a positive step AFAIK.

Re:Does not sound so bad (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27074515)

This is a positive step AFAIK.

Oh really? If you were a New South Welshman, would you rethink that knowing these tidbits?

From the first [news.com.au] article:

These powers are more powerful than those available to the federal police when dealing with terrorism suspects," NSW Council for Civil Liberties president Cameron Murphy said. "These are exactly the types of laws that led to a huge police corruption problem in NSW in the past. It is going to lead to more police corruption. Why would the NSW Police need more power in dealing with ordinary criminals than the federal police does in dealing with terrorists?

And from the second [abc.net.au]:

Police have welcomed the new laws but Australian Council for Civil Liberties president Terry O'Gorman says they are open to abuse.

"Clearly, if the police are able to search a person's home without anyone being present, the police will be in the position to plant evidence," he said.

If you think this is just tinfoil hat paranoia, perhaps you haven't heard of the Wood Royal Commission. There's good reason to be wary of the police of NSW, and I say that despite being someone who might not be alive today were it not for a detective's hard work.

Re:Does not sound so bad (2, Insightful)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 5 years ago | (#27074577)

So, ANY investigations are wrong?

They are at least involving the judges. There has to be a warrant issued BEFORE the police can start to abuse anything.

Dear god, count your blessings. At least they did not grant the powers directly to the police themselves to be used indiscriminately. At least here the police have to show they had reasonable suspicions you were guilty of a crime that could be punished by seven years in jail.

Re:Does not sound so bad (5, Funny)

giarcgood (857371) | more than 5 years ago | (#27074661)

If you think this is just tinfoil hat paranoia, perhaps you haven't heard of the Wood Royal Commission. There's good reason to be wary of the police of NSW, and I say that despite being someone who might not be alive today were it not for a detective's hard work.

I have said this for more years than I care to remember, the NSW Police are the best police force that money can buy.

Re:Does not sound so bad (1)

Techman83 (949264) | more than 5 years ago | (#27074679)

If had mod points, that would be getting an Insightful. Even if the Current Underbelly Series is only a tiny bit accurate, those must have been scary times. I was only in Nappies during that era.

Re:Does not sound so bad (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 5 years ago | (#27074809)

If had mod points, that would be getting an Insightful. Even if the Current Underbelly Series is only a tiny bit accurate, those must have been scary times. I was only in Nappies during that era.

I don't think its any better now. Maybe not as close to the surface.

Re:Does not sound so bad (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 5 years ago | (#27074799)

If you think this is just tinfoil hat paranoia, perhaps you haven't heard of the Wood Royal Commission. There's good reason to be wary of the police of NSW, and I say that despite being someone who might not be alive today were it not for a detective's hard work.

I have said this for more years than I care to remember, the NSW Police are the best police force that money can buy.

Yeah but you know (as Arthur Clarke used to say) its hard these days to find an honest man who stays bought.

Re:Does not sound so bad (1)

ta bu shi da yu (687699) | more than 5 years ago | (#27075289)

As a New South Welshman, I'm not really particularly concerned. Especially as I've not been able to read the actual source bill to see exactly what it states can and cannot happen.

Re:Does not sound so bad (1)

Eskarel (565631) | more than 5 years ago | (#27076861)

I'm not really 100% sure of how I feel about this new law.

On the one hand, they still require reasonable cause and still have to go before a judge, the only real difference is they don't have to tell the person they're searching.

On the other hand, I don't really see what benefit the police can really derive from this. It's only really useful if you're planning on repeat searches of the same target, but aside from the fact that repeatedly searching people you have no evidence against is somewhat dodgy, I don't see it as being terribly likely that the kind of people they're looking for won't know they were there.

It's not like a police search is a tremendously subtle thing generally speaking.

Re:Does not sound so bad (2, Informative)

davester666 (731373) | more than 5 years ago | (#27074567)

At least they still have to ask for warrants.

In the US, evidently the FISA court couldn't rubber-stamp warrants fast enough, so now you can go a week before even applying for a warrant for a wiretap, and even if the warrant is denied (which historically is remarkably rare), they don't have to actually lift the wiretap until AFTER all appeals have been completed. And they don't have to destroy the tapes if the final appeal denies the wiretap.

But this is still NOT a positive step, IMHO. It's just not as bad as what other countries have done/are doing.

Re:Does not sound so bad (1)

rossz (67331) | more than 5 years ago | (#27074779)

You forgot the most important rule. If a law can be abused by the people in power, it will be abused by the people in power.

Here's a quick way to do it. The law says the warrant can only be issued for crimes that involve at least seven years of imprisonment. So start creeping up the penalties each year. Soon, everything falls under the requirements.

Re:Does not sound so bad (3, Interesting)

Mista2 (1093071) | more than 5 years ago | (#27074859)

There also needs to bee immediate disclosure if the search comes up empty. That way teh searches will only be done if they actually have something concrete rather than just going on fishing expidetitons.
Oh , I'm sorry Mr Human Rights activist, we didnt find any child porn on your computer this time, but I'm sure well get SOMETHING next time after the keylogger we installed reports back to us.

It does worry me when even for the best reasons the police are given permission to act in secret. I mean, there has NEVER been a crooked cop in NSW has there?

Re:Does not sound so bad (1)

mgiuca (1040724) | more than 5 years ago | (#27075717)

I usually get upset when I hear about new powers being granted to the U.S, U.K, and Australia. However, all of those involve searches that violate the 4th amendment (U.S) and our privacy and do not have the checks and balances provided for by the judicial courts.

Uh, we don't have the 4th amendment in Australia...

Never forget the past Australia: state, fed files (4, Informative)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 5 years ago | (#27074417)

Australia will so misuse this.
Any computer internet use will be a "computer crime".

Also recall the total force wide corruption. In Australia it *was* not who is corrupt, the only question *was* anyone not corrupt.
If /. readers want to understand what was done in my state:
Political surveillance and the South Australian Police
http://www.aic.gov.au/publications/lcj/wayward/ch7t.html [aic.gov.au]

Devil's advocate... (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 5 years ago | (#27074729)

Australia will so misuse this. Any computer internet use will be a "computer crime". Also recall the total force wide corruption. In Australia it *was* not who is corrupt, the only question *was* anyone not corrupt.

Just picking on your popular hyperbole at random, not you in particular. The corruption in SA you point to was exposed 10yrs ago. In the 80's there was exposure of corruption amoung high ranks in NSW, in the 90's QLD, last couple of years in Vic.

How does exposure of corruption equate to "total force wide corruption"? Doesn't the exposure itself indicate that "good cops" are doing their job? Or are you asserting the "total force wide corruption" was behind these exposures and it was really the "good cops" who were thrown out? What if no corruption was ever exposed, does that mean there is none? - or does it indicate they are really good crooks?

In otherwords for anyone who subscibes to that kind of hyperbole, there is no way for the cops to win. Not to mention the courts would also have to be "totally corrupt" under this (state) law and would not be interested in issuing warrants that might expose high ranking corruption as they have done in the past (see your own link).

Disclaimer: I have a couple of relatives/friends in the Vic police, some have served more that 20yrs. Personally I will start worrying when corruption is NOT being found.

Re:Devil's advocate... (1)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 5 years ago | (#27075427)

Try and find the book "The conviction of the innocent" by Chester Porter qc.
It has some parts on your question about "Not to mention the courts would also have to be "totally corrupt" under this (state) law"
Its all in how you present evidence, nothing more is really needed to get a conviction.
The court system just has to accept the junk it is given.
In the past it was verballing (The putting of damaging remarks into the mouths of suspects during police interrogation), before video recording.
Now its your home computer.

Re:Devil's advocate... (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 5 years ago | (#27075763)

Yep, "Star Chamber" is good fiction too, not saying things like that don't happen but the closet we came to "total corruption" was WW2. I read enough hyperbole in the mass-media - here I can bite back a little. ;)

The NSW STATE government IN Australia (4, Informative)

Swampash (1131503) | more than 5 years ago | (#27074423)

This is a state law, not a federal one. The headline is misleading in that it contains the words "government of Australia" in that order. It still sucks, but it's not a national law.

Re:The NSW STATE government IN Australia (1)

Monolith1 (1481423) | more than 5 years ago | (#27074631)

but it's not a national law.

surely its bound to be the thin edge of the wedge...?

Re:The NSW STATE government IN Australia (1)

Techman83 (949264) | more than 5 years ago | (#27074713)

Possibly not, NSW have a lot of outrageous laws and have done for a while.

Re:The NSW STATE government IN Australia (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 5 years ago | (#27074821)

Possibly not, NSW have a lot of outrageous laws and have done for a while.

Such as?

Re:The NSW STATE government IN Australia (1)

glowworm (880177) | more than 5 years ago | (#27075581)

Possibly not, NSW have a lot of outrageous laws and have done for a while.

Such as?

Simpons' porn being classed as full on child pornography and carrying the full force of the law despite no real child being harmed... or real person for that matter.

Re:The NSW STATE government IN Australia (1)

rohan972 (880586) | more than 5 years ago | (#27076119)

Possibly not, NSW have a lot of outrageous laws and have done for a while.

Such as?

Daylight saving! You cockroaches stay south, here me! And have your mates back!
- Yes, I'm a Queenslander.

Re:The NSW STATE government IN Australia (1)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 5 years ago | (#27075075)

This is a state law, not a federal one.

The story about the federal law you will find here [slashdot.org]

I don't see the problem. (1)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 5 years ago | (#27074439)

it's got supreme court oversight and is only for suspected serious offences, so they aren't going to be able to perform the search and then find nothing only to charge you with possession of 1gram of weed to save face.

besides what do you expect them to do, walk up to your front door with a mega phone and annouce "PREPARE TO BE COVERTLY SEARCHED!!!!"?

Re:I don't see the problem. (3, Insightful)

Farmer Tim (530755) | more than 5 years ago | (#27074481)

besides what do you expect them to do, walk up to your front door with a mega phone and annouce "PREPARE TO BE COVERTLY SEARCHED!!!!"?

That's what the NSW police call "subtlety".

When will people finally realize... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27074449)

When will people finally realize that they are not as free as they believe they are?

The powers given to police will only increase as they government attempts to gain an increase of control over the population.

No one will stop them and no one can stop them. Roll with it and just enjoy life as much as you can. If you don't want to contribute actively and selflessly to your community then you deserve to loose your privacy.

Some may say that this attitude is what fuels the fire; however, I would vigorously argue the opposite.

Fuckdamn Shitcunts (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27074461)

It won't take long to whittle away that seven year requirement.

Yawn (2, Informative)

liamoshan (1283930) | more than 5 years ago | (#27074497)

So the NSW state police have been given the same powers that other state police forces/services and the Federal Police already have? Who cares?

As has already been pointed out, it's under the same type of arrangements as other Australian agencies are subject to: Court ordered warrants. Not just any court, but the Supreme Court of NSW.

When applying for a warrant, the police must provide convincing reasons to the judge, and the contents of these warrants come out in court if a prosecution results. Somehow I don't think "he looks funny" is going to cut it.

I think this is a reasonable use of police powers, with suitable checks and balances in place

Re:Yawn (2, Informative)

tg123 (1409503) | more than 5 years ago | (#27074931)

So the NSW state police have been given the same powers that other state police forces/services and the Federal Police already have? Who cares?

As has already been pointed out, it's under the same type of arrangements as other Australian agencies are subject to: Court ordered warrants. Not just any court, but the Supreme Court of NSW.

When applying for a warrant, the police must provide convincing reasons to the judge, and the contents of these warrants come out in court if a prosecution results. Somehow I don't think "he looks funny" is going to cut it.

I think this is a reasonable use of police powers, with suitable checks and balances in place

Have you ever heard of THE YELDHAM SCANDAL? http://www.uow.edu.au/arts/sts/bmartin/dissent/documents/health/yeldham.html [uow.edu.au]

basicly Mr yeldham was a pet supreme court judge that the police used when they wanted to do nasty things.

really juicy reading a quote " Mr. Yeldham, a retired supreme court judge in New South Wales committed suicide when he was subpoenaed to appear before a Royal Commission inquiring into police corruption and the protection of paedophiles."

Re:Yawn (1)

Arthur Grumbine (1086397) | more than 5 years ago | (#27076411)

I think this is a reasonable use of police powers...

HA! This won't be reasonable in my mind until the only situation that they're combining their powers is when they turn into Captain Planet...any other time besides that = unacceptable!!

Somebody should make programs to tell you (-1, Flamebait)

davidsyes (765062) | more than 5 years ago | (#27074505)

when you are the target of an investigation. When you suspect you are being monitored, you should have on your sacrificial system some tripwires, and of course, a HELLATIOUS amount of virii. Of course, make damn sure your computer is behind multiple firewalls. DO NOT use the fucking ISP-branded browser, as that shit SURELY is riddled with spyware to enable ISPs to facilitate law enforcement snooping, or ISP snooping.

As long as you can rely on standards that say a computer that did NOT initiate any traffic is not supposed to be sending, then if any snoops find your computer and then hammer away at it, it's like a mouse jumping all around a nose-crushing trap while trying to get at the cheese. If the trap fucking crushes the metaphoric cops' skulls, THEY ASKED FOR IT if their computers become infected.

These are ways (and there are others) to find out if you are being sniffed. You might not know WHO is sniffing or surveilling you, but cops come knocking your door, and don't have any ISP complaint letter, (wait, if the ISP feels you are a nuissance, they should first (ideally) warn you, then cut you off, and if you 'trespass', THEN call the cops...), then you know it's the cops trying to punish you for impeding them.

OTOH, if you booby trap your home in anticipation of or in response to ssuspected warrantless or sneak-and-peek operations, then, again, THEY ASKED FOR IT if they get hurt. You don't have to be a criminal to want to punish sneak-and-peek activity. After all, ANYONE in your abode who is not invited is a trespasser, even a paramedic if they insist on remaining present after realizing there is no emergency, no body, no blood, no validity in being present at the address because the address is WRONG due to admittedly a faulty dispatch order...

If I wake up in the middle of the night and somebody is over me, and wasn't invited, they better be ready or able to disable or kill me first. I won't take kindly to coming home to or waking up to strangers or stranglers in the night. These are reasons law enforcement better start making better use of physically touchless surveillance upon people who are not bona fide criminals but who just might take up the torch of making a statement against abuse of the public. Mobsters, tech thieves, and true criminas are not exempt. But spying on those who HAVE NOT committed crimes (there ain't not Star Fleet Temporal Commission...) is tricky business...

Re:Somebody should make programs to tell you (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27074601)

that has to be some of the worst advice ever given. I can't even begin to list the number of problems and false assumptions in your post.

Re:Somebody should make programs to tell you (1)

thegrassyknowl (762218) | more than 5 years ago | (#27074627)

Everyone's a tough guy on the Internet. Why don't you try killing the next person who comes into your home uninvited and see where you end up.

Why don't you try killing the police when they come into your home uninvited but with a warrant granting them the ability to do so. See where you end up.

I can tell you in both cases you'll have a hard time not winding up locked in with the sodomites.

Re:Somebody should make programs to tell you (2, Informative)

Mathinker (909784) | more than 5 years ago | (#27074673)

OTOH, if you booby trap your home in anticipation of or in response to ssuspected warrantless or sneak-and-peek operations, then, again, THEY ASKED FOR IT if they get hurt. You don't have to be a criminal to want to punish sneak-and-peek activity. After all, ANYONE in your abode who is not invited is a trespasser, even a paramedic if they insist on remaining present after realizing there is no emergency, no body, no blood, no validity in being present at the address because the address is WRONG due to admittedly a faulty dispatch order...

I don't know how Australian law approaches this, but in the US, you'd be guilty of reckless endangerment, and anyone, even a criminal who breaks into your house, who is injured by your traps can sue you for damages in civil court. He would, of course, have to show intention on your part (i.e., if you make the trap look unintentional enough, you might be OK, as long as no one who knows you testifies that you kept the situation dangerous for long periods of time).

A quick search leads me to "the law in England and Wales, .... There 'Offences Against The Person Act 1861 s 31' makes it an offense to set up a mechanical contrivance calculated to destroy human life or cause grievous bodily harm."

I think a better "trap" would be to have your computers automatically erase all the encryption keys in memory and shut down, the minute any intrusion is detected. Unfortunately, this won't help you against the police planting hardware keyloggers and other unpleasant stuff.

Re:Somebody should make programs to tell you (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 5 years ago | (#27074891)

OTOH, if you booby trap your home in anticipation of or in response to ssuspected warrantless or sneak-and-peek operations, then, again, THEY ASKED FOR IT if they get hurt. You don't have to be a criminal to want to punish sneak-and-peek activity. After all, ANYONE in your abode who is not invited is a trespasser, even a paramedic if they insist on remaining present after realizing there is no emergency, no body, no blood, no validity in being present at the address because the address is WRONG due to admittedly a faulty dispatch order...

I don't know how Australian law approaches this

A quick google found this page [google.com.au]. Unfortunately I can't see an obvious way to cut and paste from it so you will have to follow the link.

Re:Somebody should make programs to tell you (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 5 years ago | (#27074857)

when you are the target of an investigation. When you suspect you are being monitored,

Make absolutely sure you don't break the law.

If you want to try to keep your personal computer secure use a netbook or a palmtop and keep it with you 100% of the time. Run something non-standard and OSS so you can track changes.

Re:Somebody should make programs to tell you (1)

davidsyes (765062) | more than 5 years ago | (#27081487)

-1, Flaimbait by some dumbshit who lacks foresight.

http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=1149507&cid=27074505 [slashdot.org]

But, the EFF story:

http://yro.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=09/03/05/0410245 [slashdot.org]

then follows a day later...

The point *i* am making is about RAGE. PURE, UNADULTERATED.... RAGE that illigetimate spying on people.

*Talking about* (rather than *planning*) booby-trapping and setting up backdoor detection is about expression of RAGE. Anyone who takes a cursory glance at random samplings of my posts can see that i am reasonably intelligent enough to not ACTUALLY SET an illegal boobytrap of the explosive, burning, dismembering or similar kind.

Now, we have the EFF releasing a tool to do the LEGAL side in work, deed, expression and act.

But, instead, people see only the dangerous side of my expression, not the symptom or cause of WHY i tend to express this way. SOMEtimes raw, sharp, vicious speech serves a purpose without carrying into act. This serves to prompt others to find the safer, more acceptable alternative. EFF may have been for a long time working on this. It's just coincidental that my anger is expressed a day before we hear they released a(nother) tool users can hopefully count on.

As for kicking ass of an intruder, there are few reasons for anyone to be **IN** a home that is not theirs: guest or intruder. Intruder includes drunkards, or ANYONE entering the domicile even in good faith. Once their mistake has been made clear, they need to clear out, even if they think they have power to just stick around and turn the place upside down just showing that THEY are in command, not the tenant.

How would any of YOU feel if you inadvertently discovered your computer was bugged, and every time you cleaned it, a new less obvious method popped up, and every time you swept your home, your calls, your e-mails, your vehicle, your clothing, your friends and family... ALL turn out to be tapped. Every new contact you make... marked because *some*day they could be the unforseen crucial link.

That is where we are, and as long as we accept it, we cope. But, sometimes some investigators go too far. Some are not even empowered, authorized agents... some are petty instigators who happen to be commissioned to exploit technology to harass others, dig up dirt for future use, and just to aggregate knowledge.

Open your minds people: I may dwell on the negative, but for the more "reasoned" of you to just respond to the negative with negatives instead of admitting the negativity i exhibit is a light on a bigger negativity....

As for the virii traps, like i said, if the information transfer technology protocols say that your computer should not transmit unless YOU initiate the response/transmission, then anyone on the outside commanding traffic you didn't initiate IS FAIR GAME. If they happent to be a zombie, or a federal agent fishing around, they are TRESPASSING. If i can have a lock on my door, i can have a lock on my computer. If i can use a hammer or a gun or a taser within my home against an intruder threatening me, then i can disable or mark for traceability anyone trying to penetrate my infrastructure. If in the process i *out* some super-stealth or clandestine organization, then those masters of the universe must have become sloppy. I know in MY heart i've done or said some crazy, interesting, perplexing, or maybe questionable things that may instigate a wiretap, but i have not broken any laws (real or in draft) warranting a wiretap. So, if i defend my property to the death, that's my personal decision.

just about everyone (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27074507)

The new warrants can only be issued in the Supreme Court for suspected serious offences punishable by at least seven years jail which includes computer crime offences.

Does possession of child porn carry a seven year sentence in Australia? If you have a computer, and an internet connection, you just might be downloading kiddie porn, so.... I guess they've covered pretty much anyone they want.

Re:just about everyone (2, Insightful)

daveime (1253762) | more than 5 years ago | (#27074899)

No you have it all backwards ...

1 - Implement the power to search without warrant anyone suspected of a 7 year jailable offence.
2 - Get that law passed
3 - Make EVERY crime punishable by a 7 year jail sentence
4 - Privatise the prison system, float them on the stock market, and buy lots of shares.
5 - ????
6 - Profit !

Re:just about everyone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27075241)

7 - Also, fuck you.

So... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27074533)

...What do the seven people in Australia with Internet access think about all this?

My guess is they're too busy being passed out drunk to comment.

(This is the point where outraged Aussie /.ers post rants about how Strine eenterneet technologeeee is the most advanced in the world...)

What do they mean by "hacking" (2, Informative)

pwizard2 (920421) | more than 5 years ago | (#27074543)

I wonder what kind of "hacking" this will entail, and if they took computers with decent security into account. Owning a typical default-user-is-root-and-runs-MSIE Windows box is not very difficult, but I would like them to see them try that on a well secured Linux or BSD box with a competent administrator. Without root access, the police aren't going to get very far.

Re:What do they mean by "hacking" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27074897)

Can they not change the (DNS) servers from which your Linux / BSD downloads updates, such that those updates contain a back-door?

Or are all updates signed? (certificates, etc)

Re:What do they mean by "hacking" (2, Insightful)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 5 years ago | (#27074965)

It would be a mistake to assume that the police (even NSW police) are unable to find somebody to do this. They can always go to a university and get advice from Comp Sci professors, etc. This happens a lot in technical cases.

Having to be root won't stop them if they can get at the hardware, any more than it would stop me.

For an attempt at security buy a palmtop or netbook. Install netbsd and use the cryptographic disk driver on all volumes. If you have material on there which can put you away hide it with Steganography [wikipedia.org]. Make sure there is plenty of innocent stuff on the CGD volumes.

Use secure channels for transmission of sensitive material but remember that increasing your cell beyond three people pretty much ensures that you will be working side to side with a spy.

Re:What do they mean by "hacking" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27075265)

Even having physical access doesn't mean they have access to the system *if the system is secured against such access*. Remember, a tiny trembler switch inside the case and a small explosive device using it as a trigger and any advantage gained from physical access is moot. Trouble is you would probably get labelled as a terrormarist and dissappea
.
.
* CARRIER SIGNAL LOST

Re:What do they mean by "hacking" (1)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 5 years ago | (#27075849)

Most Australian state police forces have *people* who where classical trained on staff 24/7.
Unix/Linux* or BSD box would be no problem for men and woman who passed CS from good Australian universities in the 1970's-80's.
If the Australia federal gov thought it was wise to track its cash flow in real time, why not track the 'interweb' usage too.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australian_Transaction_Reports_and_Analysis_Centre [wikipedia.org]
So yes most states do have the smart people to run small scale tracking on the web 24/7 as needed.
And they know their Linux or BSD real good.

* "When you go to the bookstore and look in the UNIX section, there's books on 'How to Program UNIX'
but when you go to the Linux section and look for 'How to Program Linux' you're not gonna find it, because it doesn't exist."- Darl McBride

So, they want to catch computer criminals? (2, Insightful)

Sparx139 (1460489) | more than 5 years ago | (#27074553)

"...suspected serious offences punishable by at least seven years jail â€" which includes computer crime offences."

So, they want to catch computer criminals by using the same tricks that they use?
Do the government seriously think that hackers are going to have an insecure network?
The closest they'll get to catching hackers is catching a whole bunch of script kiddies, who could be caught without needing to hack their computers.

And when court-sanctioned hacking becomes common, organized crime groups will employ hackers to secure their networks to counter the threat.

It's only going to be a short-term fix. After that, hackers will become the new guards for organizations ranging from illegal to corporations where they don't want the police snooping around without due cause.
Funny how this legislation could generate legitimate income for criminals.

And I'll leave the other members to bring up the ethical and legal issues around it.

Re:So, they want to catch computer criminals? (2, Insightful)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 5 years ago | (#27074625)

your over estimating what a police hack involves. installing some spyware on your laptop while you are out of the house is the extent of their abilities. run linux or even just run a screen saver password will defeat them. hell i'd bet $50 a decent virus scanner will pick their activities via hueristics.

Do you have what it takes? (5, Funny)

localoptimum (993261) | more than 5 years ago | (#27074769)

Police Entrance Exam

Question 1 Please demonstrate the correct police procedure for gathering evidence from the rogue website "www.nastyTerrorPaedophiles.org".

Your answer

freedom4all:~$ nmap -A -T4 www.nastyTerrorPaedophiles.org
Interesting ports on www.nastyTerrorPaedophiles.org:
Not shown: 1688 closed ports
PORT STATE SERVICE VERSION
22/tcp open ssh (protocol 2.0)
.
.
.
freedom4all:~$ ssh root@www.nastyTerrorPaedophiles.org
root@www.nastyTerrorPaedophiles.org's password:[britneyspears]
Permission denied, please try again.
root@www's password: [poshspice]
Permission denied, please try again.
root@www's password: [thepiratebay]
Last login: Mon Mar 2 22:58:01 2009 from disarray.nastyTerrorPaedophiles.org
root@www:~$ ls -l
total 13
drwxr-xr-x 3 root root 4096 2009-02-27 09:01 My_Terror_Plans
drwxr-xr-x 3 root root 4096 2009-02-27 09:05 My_Child_Porn_Movies
drwxr-xr-x 6 root root 4096 2009-02-27 09:09 My_BitTorrent_Files
.
.

The Usual Suspects: A Likely Scenario (1)

trillion (246465) | more than 5 years ago | (#27074995)

"Attention! This is the thought Police.

Come out with your keyboard clearly unplugged and above your head. Don't try anything with that mouse either or it's probable cause for you.

Do not attempt to delete those mp3s as we will be sharing those ALLLLL around once we get those drives back to the lab and imaged off.

We've been tracking you're collection for months, don't turn this into wasted time or it's off to the pen where their idea of Internet access is deciding on which rope climb you'll be scaling today."

Kangaroo goes into a bar (0, Offtopic)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 5 years ago | (#27075029)

He orders a beer. Bartender brings it over, "That'll be ten dollars... Hey, you know we never got any talking kangaroos in here before." Kangaroo replies, "And at these prices you won't see any more of 'em."

Noteable Differences (2, Insightful)

flyneye (84093) | more than 5 years ago | (#27075935)

A society permitted to own guns are called citizens.
A society not permitted to defend against their government are subjects.
I think you know where I'm going with this...

Re:Noteable Differences (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 5 years ago | (#27080725)

I think you know where I'm going with this...

To the nearest bookshop, to buy a dictionary?

The definitions of "citizen" vs "subject" have nothing to do with gun control; and furthermore, guns are by far not the only means to keep the government in check.

Freedom ... it's Austrailian for pussy, mate. (1)

noshellswill (598066) | more than 5 years ago | (#27076649)

Just checking in from hell. Seig Heil Australian komrads. It's taken 70-y for you to get-the-picture. But, Unkil Joe and I are well pleased at the progress. Between simpering Oxbridge faggots and snarky yoobs you're well on the way to a modern lifestyle. Your palsy //AH.

If it's not illegal over there . . . (1)

I'm_Original (1152583) | more than 5 years ago | (#27076869)

Many sites (The Pirate Bay being a high-profile example) get by because their actions and services are not illegal in the country in which they operate. However, since the internet connects everyone, if those actions or services are illegal in anyone's country they can still use them because they can connect to the foreign country with no problem.

Great, so everyone knew that already. The question is, can this same tactic be used by law enforcement and government? What I mean is, even if the FBI hacking your computer is illegal in the U.S., could they go to a friendly government where hacking isn't illegal, get them to do it, and then give the information back to the FBI through some friendly diplomatic process?

I would appreciate it if a lawyer chimed in here, but would that evidence be admissible in any court? Even if it isn't, the tactic could still open up a number of doors. For example, it's probably easier to get a treaty saying international evidence is permissible than it is to convince your population to let you spy on them. Furthermore, internationally obtained evidence might make it easier to get a warrant. Also consider that it would be evidence about something happening in the U.S., so even if it is obtained in another country it must count for something here. Finally, even if the law can't legally use it, the journalists probably can. Any other ideas?

So the same bit of legal reasoning that lets people in the U.S. use The Pirate Bay, "it's not illegal over there" might come back and bite us in the ass.

Scary (1)

e-scetic (1003976) | more than 5 years ago | (#27077515)

Man, I just finished watching a movie called The Lives of Others, about the Stasi in East Berlin before the wall fell. They had these same powers, they could search/bug peoples homes on mere suspicion alone.

If the supposedly "democratic" and "free" societies are heading in this direction I wonder how the world will ever recover from it.

Samzenpus is an idiot, or a fearmonger (1)

ArcCoyote (634356) | more than 5 years ago | (#27078729)

Slashdot: "The NSW government of Australia has quietly introduced new police powers..."

TFA: "The Government says new legislation, to be introduced into Parliament today...

"Introduced into Parliament" doesn't mean "Introduced into law". It means the bill has been introduced into the legislature and it has to be voted on.

Now, it takes a really special kind of idiot to not see the difference, so I have no reason to think this is not intentional fearmongering.

Slashdot did the exact same thing when this kind of thing was introduced in the UK. I don't think it has made it through Parliament yet there either. Now, if it DID, and UK police do have this kind of power, I didn't hear a word about it, which is the really bad part.

Teh interwebs get all spun up when a bad law is proposed. Then, if it actually passes, it goes unnoticed because everyone has already huffed and puffed and forgotten about it.

Welcome to democracy in the age of 15-second attention spans.

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