The Facts About GetUp's Offer to the Attorney-General
The Attorney-General Nicola Roxon has issued a transcript of her YouTube video in which she directly addresses a number of claims made by GetUp as part of our campaign on internet privacy.
GetUp has been engaged in a dialogue with the Attorney's office for the last two weeks and on 6 September offered to give her the opportunity to participate in a live and unedited Question and Answer session on our website. We offered to give her an opportunity to make her case, and take questions from GetUp members who want to know more about these proposed changes. GetUp made it clear that during this live broadcast the Attorney would be free to clarify her position on the changes and GetUp's campaign against them. The offer was made to facilitate this from our Sydney office, or from her Parliament House or Electorate Office at her convenience.
Without having responded to that offer, the Attorney has claimed that GetUp had refused to distribute her response amongst our members. As an independent movement, we are not willing to distribute partisan spin to our members without the opportunity for those ideas to be challenged. Our democracy is best served by a robust debate, and our representatives should welcome the opportunity for a deeper engagement and be willing to answer questions from a concerned public.
The storage of the contents of communications
The Discussion Paper is by no means clear on the issue of whether or not the Government is proposing to store the content of communications. The Government has stated that it had no intent to store this, and we have no reason not to believe that. However there are direct references to the storage of the content of communications in the paper, including one on page 28 which states the following:
"Access to communications content and data plays an important role in protecting the community against threats to security and serious criminal activity."
Handing over passwords
There is no difference between forcing people to decrypt their private live communications, and asking them to hand over their passwords. The Government is using the technical and complex nature of these proposals to confuse and mislead ordinary Australians. Under this proposal, the Government could force Australians to hand over keys to unscramble their private encrypted communications which would allow them to see exactly what they are doing online. This could be whilst accessing sites like Facebook, Twitter or your Internet Banking. If you refuse to cooperate with this process, you could be thrown in gaol.