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OP/ED: Be Afraid...Be Unnecessarily Afraid

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posted on Oct, 15 2005 @ 01:39 PM
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Vague, yet broad-reaching and potentially invasive counter-terrorism bills are the latest fashion for Western governments it seems. The USA had the Patriot Act rushed through congress shortly after 9-11, with rumours of a pending "Patriot Act II" that would make the first one blush. Tony Blair's Labour government has been passing new laws that undermine civil liberties with cheerful abandon; and now, in his signature uninspired, unoriginal style, Australian PM Johnny "Weasel" Howard has come up with his own version in an attempt to keep up with the big boys. Speculation and conflicting reports regarding the actual specifics of the new laws are rife, and with a draft of the Anti-Terrorism Bill 2005 being deliberately and bravely leaked by Australian Capital Territory (ACT) Chief Minister Jon Stanhope, I took the opportunity to take a look and see if all the fuss is justified.
 




The "Australian Patriot Act" -



"Throughout history, from the days of Christ, through to those of Gandhi and Martin Luther King, the greatest leaders have always extolled the virtue of fearlessness, not fearfulness."

There has never been a terrorist attack, nor even the hint of the possibility of one occurring, on Australian soil. As far back as 2003, Australian politicians and the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) have been making spurious claims of "senior Al Qaeda operatives" coming in and out of Australia. Recently, in addition to politicians making noise about supposed radical Islamic elements within Australian Muslim society, the doom and gloom reports have been ratcheted up to speak of entire "terrorist cells" operating in Melbourne and Sydney, with a purported 50-60 evil Islamic super-terrorists lurking in the shadows waiting for an opportunity to strike.


Terrorist cells operating in Melbourne and Sydney - www.abc.net.a
As Australia's top police officer confirms that up to 60 potential terrorists are operating in cells in Melbourne and Sydney, a former intelligence analyst has questioned why these people haven't yet been arrested.

The Federal Police Commissioner Mick Keelty has backed claims made by a former ASIO officer that between 50 and 60 people in Australia's two largest cities have had military training, are capable of building bombs and are working in organised cells.

But a former analyst with the Office of National Assessments says if the groups are as operational as claimed, their members should already have been detained.
[...]
It also raises questions about the justification for the expanded counter-terrorism laws that are currently enjoyed by the Federal Police and ASIO in particular and it seems to me that if the organisations were that certain about these people's connections with international terrorist groups then there currently exists the sorts of laws that would have allowed these organisations to detain and interrogate these people.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


Yet as Australian citizens' level of fear is dragged up by the nasal hairs with all these conflicting and dubious reports of terror cells operating in Australia, it strikes me as somewhat odd that the only act committed in Australia that has any terrorist 'ring' to it was the incident involving an envelope of white powder (which turned out to be harmless) sent to the Indonesian embassy while the Schappelle Corby case was going on. Indonesia being a Muslim nation, I'm sure the irony is not lost on the reader at all. In truth, it seems the only people inspiring terror amongst the Australian populace are Australian politicians, and some guy with a bag of flour and a gripe.


Draconian...or Token?



If Newton ever focused his genius in politics instead of physics, perhaps his first law would have been, "For every action, there is a mind-bogglingly disproportionate over-reaction." Which brings me to The Weasel's new anti-terror laws. The pdf of the leaked draft bill can be downloaded from Chief Minister Stanhope's website here: Anti-Terrorism Bill 2005 (DRAFT)

Early projections of the contents of the new laws included:
  • The ability to detain terrorist suspects for up to 14 days without charge after a terrorist act has occurred.
  • 12-month control orders that could include use of tracking devices.
  • Australian Federal Police (AFP) and Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) may get access to aircraft passenger records.
  • Federal police to be granted stop-and-search powers which could eliminate the right not to answer police questions.
  • Making it a federal offence ("Commonwealth Offence") to leave baggage unattended at an airport.
  • Making it a Commonwealth Offence to incite violence against the community.


Preventative Detention:

Preventative detention orders, i.e. incarceration without charge, may be issued by a Federal Magistrate or a Judge and are designed to prevent a terrorist act from happening, or to preserve evidence relating to a terrorist attack. Presumably suspects fall into this category of "evidence". I can see no mention of any restriction stating that this law can only be enforced after a terrorist attack has occurred, as was originally posited by supporters of the legislation.

Division 105—Preventative detention orders
The object of this Division is to allow a person to be taken into custody and detained for a short period of time in order to:
(a) prevent an imminent terrorist act occurring; or
(b) preserve evidence of, or relating to, a recent terrorist act.
[...]
This subsection applies if the AFP member or the issuing authority, as the case may be, is satisfied that:
(a) there are reasonable grounds to suspect that the subject: 30
(i) will engage in a terrorist act; or
(ii) possesses a thing that is connected with the preparation for, or the engagement of a person in, a terrorist act; or
(iii) has done, or will do, an act in preparation for, or planning, a terrorist act;
[...]
(5) The period of time specified[...]must not exceed 48 hours.


Unless I missed it somewhere, it appears that the maximum time period for such detention, extension applications inclusive, is 48 hours. This is much less than the alarming 14 days that was originally rumoured.

The person detained is allowed to contact a friend, family member or employer, but only "for the purposes of letting the person contacted know that the person being detained is safe but is not able to be contacted for the time being." Meaning that the person is not allowed to state that they have been taken into custody. (@105.32) This communication will be monitored by an AFP officer, and if it is not in English and a translator cannot be arranged, the communication will not be allowed. (@105.35)


Control Orders:

A senior AFP officer can request a control order for a citizen if s/he deems that the issuance of such would prevent a terrorist attack, or s/he suspects that the person has trained, or been trained by a terrorist organisation. The order can be issued by any court. The restrictions that may be imposed under the order include:

Division 104—Control orders
[...]
(a) a prohibition or restriction on the person being at specified areas or places;
(b) a prohibition or restriction on the person leaving Australia;
(c) a requirement that the person remain at specified premises between specified times each day, or on specified days;
(d) a requirement that the person wear a tracking device;
(e) a prohibition or restriction on the person communicating or associating with specified individuals;
(f) a prohibition or restriction on the person accessing or using specified forms of telecommunication or other technology (including the Internet);
(g) a prohibition or restriction on the person possessing or using specified articles or substances;
(h) a prohibition or restriction on the person carrying out specified activities (including in respect of his or her work or occupation);
(i) a requirement that the person report to specified persons at specified times and places;
(j) a requirement that the person allow himself or herself to be photographed;
(k) a requirement that the person allow his or her fingerprints to be taken;
(l) if the person consents—a requirement that the person participate in specified counselling or education.


"A requirement that the person wear a tracking device". I've always been against tracking devices on principle, simply because they are utterly dehumanising. I figure if you should be locked up, then fine, but if you are deemed fit to be set free, then you shouldn't have to endure an Orwellian cattle-tracking device fixed to your person. I'm also a little troubled by the last clause regarding "counselling or education", for what I hope are obvious reasons.

Control orders can be issued for periods of up to 12-months, and presumably can be extended or re-applied for at the end of that period at the discretion of the AFP officer or the courts. Contravening any of the restrictions set out in the order will result in a penalty of five years imprisonment.


Lethal Force:

Australian laws regarding the use of force have always been very strict. Although most Australian police carry guns, they are only entitled to use lethal force to prevent serious injury or death to themselves or others - a police officer could not shoot you in the back if you were fleeing. However, if I have interpreted it correctly, this new bill repeals that principle, such that a police officer can use lethal force to apprehend a fleeing subject:


@105.23 Use of force
(2) An AFP member must not, in the course of taking a person into custody or detaining a person under a preventative detention order:
(a) do anything that is likely to cause the death of, or grievous bodily harm to, the person unless the AFP member believes on reasonable grounds that doing that thing is necessary to protect life or to prevent serious injury to another person (including the AFP member); or
(b) if the person is attempting to escape being taken into custody by fleeing—do such a thing unless:
(i) the AFP member believes on reasonable grounds that doing that thing is necessary to protect life or to prevent
serious injury to another person (including the AFP member); and
(ii) the person has, if practicable, been called on to surrender and the AFP member believes on reasonable grounds that the person cannot be apprehended in any other manner.


I hope someone can tell me that I've interpreted this incorrectly. If not, this is a HUGE change in fundamental code of practice for Australian law enforcement.


Disclosure:

The section on disclosure (@105.38) makes it illegal for anyone, including the detainee's lawyer or family members, to disclose that the detainee has been incarcerated under a preventative detention order. The penalty for doing so is 5 years imprisonment. According to the bill, if a family member contacts you and tells you that they are thus detained, you are only entitled to tell the rest of the family that s/he is "safe but is not able to be contacted for the time being." If you let them know their family member has been detained, you could all go to prison for 5 years!


@105.38 Disclosure offences
(1) A person (the offender) commits an offence if:
[...]
(b) the offender discloses to another person:
(i) the fact that a preventative detention order has been made in relation to the detainee; or
(ii) the fact that the detainee is being detained under the order; or
(iii) any information that the detainee gives the offender in the course of the contact;




Power to Obtain Information and Documents:

The clauses under this section appear to be mainly involved with the acquisition/seizure of information and documents, including banking and financial transaction information related to an attack after the fact, which does not seem to be much different to laws that are already in place in regards to the seizure of evidence in a criminal investigation, except perhaps for the access to telephone records.

3ZQP Matters to which documents must relate
(h) determining whether a telephone account is held by a specified person, and details relating to the account 28
(including:
(i) details in respect of calls made to or from the relevant telephone number; or
(ii) the times at which such calls were made or received; or
(iii) the lengths of such calls; or
(iv) the telephone numbers to which such calls were made and from which such calls were received);


However, just as in the USA Patriot Act, a person who is served a notice to provide such information is guilty of an offence if they disclose that same fact to others, and can be imprisoned for up to two years.


3ZQT Offence for disclosing existence or nature of notice
(1) A person commits an offence if:
(a) the person is given a notice under section 3ZQN or 3ZQO;
(b) the notice specifies that information about the notice must not be disclosed; and
(c) the person discloses the existence or nature of the notice.
Penalty: 120 penalty units or imprisonment for 2 years, or both.



"Sedition"

The section on sedition offences stipulates penalties of 7 years imprisonment for "urging violence" against the government or within the community, as well as for interfering with elections.

There is also a clause which makes it an offence to "urge" another person to assist an enemy of the State.

80.2 (7)
A person commits an offence if:
(a) the person urges another person to engage in conduct; and
(b) the first-mentioned person intends the conduct to assist, by any means whatever, an organisation or country; and
(c) the organisation or country is:
(i) at war with the Commonwealth, whether or not the existence of a state of war has been declared;
[...]Penalty: Imprisonment for 7 years.


The fact that this enemy of the State does not actually have to have been declared as such, makes this particular law so broad in its scope as to be all-encompassing. You could conceivably be locked up for seven years if one day you do a fruit trade deal with Iran and the government has deemed Iran to be at war with the Commonwealth without letting anyone know.

The section also amends the Crimes Act of 1914 to define seditious intention as including:

an intention to effect any of the following purposes:
(a) to bring the Sovereign into hatred or contempt;
(b) to urge disaffection against the following:
(i) the Constitution;
(ii) the Government of the Commonwealth;
(iii) either House of the Parliament;(p75)

Without being able to refer to the original act, it is impossible to properly interpret this portion, and unclear exactly what the penalties for "urging disaffection against...the Government" would be. Raied eyebrows for that one. This is a little disturbing and requires further investigation, but I'm unable to find the relevant portion of the Crimes Act online. Perhaps another contributor can help out.

=============================================================================

The above encompass the portions of the act which immediately rang a few alarm bells for me. There is still much more to be analysed, such as expansion of police stop and search powers. I welcome further input from other contributors concerning any important sections I may have overlooked.

Former PM Malcolm Fraser has recently been active in attempting to have an Australian Bill of Rights enacted. I was quite shocked to learn that Australia is the ONLY Western nation without legislated protection of human rights.

Anti-terrorism laws put rights at risk: Fraser - www.abc.net.au

So the question remains, are these expanded powers necessary, and will they be effective in preventing terrorist attacks? Do they disturb the balance between liberty and security, or are they, as Goldilocks would say, "just right"? Can the government be trusted to not abuse these new laws? If you don't believe that the Australian government can arbitrarily deem people to be threats to national security, you only need to look at the recent case of peace activist Scott Parkin.Should more funding and evaluation of effectiveness be put into expanding the personnel base and infrastructure of Australian intelligence agencies such as ASIO, rather than focusing on Australian citizens themselves and starting on the slippery slope toward a "guilty until proven innocent" system of justice?

Or are we just being a little too paranoid?


FURTHER REFERENCE:

Australian Confidential Anti-Terror Draft Legislation Leaked - ATSNN

Jon Stanhope's Website

Stanhope under fire over bill leak - www.abc.net.au

Visiting US peace activist arrested - www.theage.com.au

Proposals to further strengthen Australia’s counter-terrorism laws 2005 - Australian Parliamentary Library

WAR: Australia Introduces Tough New Counter-Terrorism Laws - ATSNN

NEWS: Australian Islamic Bookshop Allegedly Selling Hate Literature - ATSNN

WAR: Muslims who want Islamic law told to leave Australia - ATSNN




posted on Oct, 15 2005 @ 02:15 PM
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Bloody brilliant. I can't wait to see who wrote this.

My favorite clause right now is that "URGE" bit. I am Guilty. I know I am Guilty.

[Jumps. Feels hand on shoulder. Looks around fearfully. Fights the constraints. Pleads tearfully, "I only love LIFE. And ideas. Knowledge. The joy of thinking. I don't mean any harm. I just want to live life. Not deny it."]



posted on Oct, 15 2005 @ 02:50 PM
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Wecomeinpeace,

you got my "way above". that's for sure!



posted on Oct, 15 2005 @ 03:01 PM
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You have voted wecomeinpeace for the Way Above Top Secret award. You have two more votes this month.


nice one.



posted on Oct, 15 2005 @ 04:05 PM
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WATS wecomeinpeace!

Though not an Aussie, I feel your patriotic pain! With that said . . .

Welcome to our world!


The United States, Great Britain, and now Australia not so slowly and not so subtly whittling away at the given rights of the populace.

More and more it seems this is being accomplished in a bit of a rank and file order.

So let's all line up in a nice lil' single file collective* order and prepare for our weekly search and seizure routine.

Practice makes perfect don't ya know!?

</sarcasm>
* yes I mean collective . . . as in . . . where it's all headed?!



posted on Oct, 15 2005 @ 04:23 PM
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The thing that upsets me is alot of people would say that they havnt even heard of anyone being detained or arrested using the new laws in these bills in our various country's. And the scary part is I don't think we ever will....

Targest could be easily picked up on a street one day and the family simply files a missing persons report that will never be solved. I am 100% sure this happens everyday right now.



posted on Oct, 15 2005 @ 08:34 PM
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A typically great Op/Ed from WCIP. You got a WATS vote from me as well.

I haven't had the dubious privilege of reading this proposed anti-terrorism act yet but I fully intend to after reading your synopsis. I may not of been in England during the authoring and implementation of the first round of its anti-terror laws but I am here for these ones!

What are we willing to do to protect our hard won freedoms? I am definitely going to write our Premiere a letter outlining my concerns. I would definitely take part in a demonstration in Melbourne over this. Does any one know of any that are planned?

This is unacceptable and I will not tolerate it. The only clear and present danger to our way of life is coming from our own politicians. These schmucks work for us, not the other way around. They will do as they are told, not dictate to us why we have to give up our civil rights.

ENOUGH!



posted on Oct, 15 2005 @ 09:15 PM
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You have voted subz for the Way Above Top Secret award. You have one more vote left for this month.



This is unacceptable and I will not tolerate it. The only clear and present danger to our way of life is coming from our own politicians*. These schmucks work for us, not the other way around. They will do as they are told, not dictate to us why we have to give up our civil rights.

ENOUGH!


Here! Here!

WCIP and Subz!!

* visual emphasis by 12m8keall2c

World-Wide . . . decisions are being made . . . stances are being taken . . . without as much as a 1:? consideration.

Hell . . . not even ?:1.

?any thoughts?



posted on Oct, 16 2005 @ 02:05 AM
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Excellent article & exemplary analysis. Everyone seems to be climbing on the same anti-terrorism bandwagon with respect to leglislation already passed or being readied for passage. I'm a bit concerned at the seeming lackadaisical regard for the civil rights of the citizens of our respective countries, but I do think we are all being just a little bit paranoid--not overly so though. If we don't continue to create a little commotion now & then our governments may be emboldened to pass even more restrictive leglislation.



posted on Oct, 16 2005 @ 04:31 AM
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Thanks heaps for the encouragement, folks.


I found the Crimes Act of 1914.

The passage regarding the definition of "seditious intention" in the Anti-terrorism Bill is merely a clarification of existing legislation in the Crimes Act, whereby the definition of "seditious intention" is not included in the appropriate passage and you have to refer back and forth between sections.

Interestingly, the Crimes Act has some eyebrow-raising laws related to "sedition" in it. In addition to amusing references to Australian citizens as "Her Majesty's subjects" (
), there's things like this:


24D Seditious words
(1) Any person who, with the intention of causing violence or creating
public disorder or a public disturbance, writes, prints, utters or
publishes any seditious words shall be guilty of an indictable
offence.
Penalty: Imprisonment for 3 years.


Three years imprisonment for uttering or printing seditious words with the intention of creating a public disturbance would seem to cover some demonstrations or protests, in particular protests that are against new draconian legislation and could be termed as designed to "urge disaffection against the House of the Parliament". A rather vague definition...

So this goes back to the questions I raised earlier regarding the potential for abuse. It seems that there already exist laws in place that if the government and courts so wished it, they could, by means of interpretation of the law, outlaw a lot of activities and lock people up willy-nilly. But they haven't. So are the new laws simply a preparative measure, enabling the government and law enforcement to be ready just in case something terrible happens, and never used until they are truly needed? Is it a case of if something did happen and the government hadn't acted in advance, that we would be screaming blue murder because of their inaction, incompetence and lack of foresight? Or is this a gradual and deliberate undermining of certain tenets of our system of justice, turning the temperature of the pot up a few degrees at a time until we're cooked without even realizing? Is there a better way to prevent terrorism? Beef up the intelligence? Start advertising for ASIO recruits like MI6?

And for the conspiracy-minded, will the Australian government carry out false-flag operations in order to scare the people into submission and acceptance of the accelerated erosion of civil liberties and greater control? Is the US, UK and Oz global trio's ramping up of the anti-terror legislation part of a larger, more sinister plan? After all, putting these laws in place now would be a nice preparation for later if and when things really heat up, since anyone resisting the changes could be labelled a terrorist and locked up under a "preventative detention order". Protesters could be labelled "seditious" and have their movements restricted and tracked. In an Orwellian, life-imitating-art twist, it could eventually get to the stage where violent resistance is the only option, so one would only have two choices: be cattle, or be labelled a terrorist.

Or are we simply being too paranoid...?

[edit on 2005-10-16 by wecomeinpeace]



posted on Oct, 16 2005 @ 05:21 AM
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"Or are we simply being too paranoid...?"

No you are not being too paranoid. Not in countries where the power supposedly resides in the people and free speech should prevail.

First it's the nanny gov'ts of the libs, and now the hitlarious gov'ts of the right. Who'da figured? Not those who voted for Bush, for sure(closet nazis).

I'm beginning to think we don't need gov't, for all it's doing. Especially the taking from the poor and giving to the rich part.







[edit on 10/16/2005 by bodebliss]



posted on Oct, 16 2005 @ 06:19 AM
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Thanks for filling us in wecomeinpeace with the downunder thunder.

Looking at those laws describes a draconian utopia, and makes me wonder how anyone can think these possible mandates have an iota of commonsense in them.

Bloody overkill is too timid a term to describe these measures.




[edit on 16-10-2005 by Regenmacher]



posted on Oct, 16 2005 @ 07:03 AM
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All governments and civilizations rise and eventually fall, our isn't the first and it won't be the last unless we obliderate the planet. Nine times out of ten they sow the seeds of their own destruction. It is an old ploy dating from at least the decades leading up to the Russian revolution to make terrorist attacks with the intention of forcing the "theratened" government to crack down and become more draconian, to make like under that government more and more difficult, and so hasten its overthrow. That is why I have always said Bush walked right into the trap Bin Laden set for him on 9/11. That is what happens when you have people who are blind to history or believe they are the exception running the show. Will the ploy work? Who knows. But the west has been reacting according to plan. Fortunately governments do fall.



posted on Oct, 16 2005 @ 08:22 AM
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Originally posted by grover
Fortunately governments do fall.


Unfortunately, they generally take as many citizens as they can with them when they go. Government is the single greatest threat to both life and liberty, yet it is viewed as necessary.



posted on Oct, 16 2005 @ 06:36 PM
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This is abump.

I am doing it because this post deserves attention, IMO.



posted on Oct, 17 2005 @ 02:51 AM
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Ive started going through the draft act. Its pretty hardcore legalese


This is the first piece that set alarm bells off in my head.


103.2 Financing a terrorist
(1) A person commits an offence if:

(a) the person intentionally:
(i) makes funds available to another person (whether directly or indirectly); or
(ii) collects funds for, or on behalf of, another person
(whether directly or indirectly); and

(b) the first-mentioned person is reckless as to whether the other
person will use the funds to facilitate or engage in a terrorist
act.

Penalty: Imprisonment for life.

This is too vague! Who defines what is "reckless". If I donate money to the Australian Red Cross, who then provide food aid to say earthquake ravaged Pakistan. The food aid makes its way to terrorists, now my donated money is aiding terrorists. I would technically be breaching this proposed law.

There are many other examples of how easily you can run foul of this proposed law. Invest in a mutal fund who invests your money in a company that has ties to terrorist groups and youre going to jail, possibly for life.

Absurdity!


104.3 Making a control order

The issuing Court may make an order under this section in relation
to the person, but only if:

(a) the senior AFP member has requested it in accordance with
section ^104.2; and

(b) the Court is satisfied on the balance of probabilities
(i) that making the order would substantially assist in
preventing a terrorist act; or
(ii) that the person has provided training to, or received
training from, a listed terrorist organisation; and

(c) the Court is satisfied on the balance of probabilities that each
of the obligations, prohibitions and restrictions to be imposed
on the person by the order is reasonably necessary, and
reasonably appropriate and adapted, for the purpose of
protecting the public from a terrorist act.

If the Federal Police have information which could convince a judge to deprive an Australian citizens of their freedom, then they should arrest the citizen and put them on trial. If the AFP have evidence proving this citizen is about to carry out, or aid, a terrorist attack they can be arrested and put on trial. The same applies if they are providing or receiving terrorist training.

Control orders are circumventions of due process and have no place in a modern democratic state.

These are the requirements of Control Orders as described in the proposed Act:

(a) a prohibition or restriction on the person being at specified
areas or places;


(b) a prohibition or restriction on the person leaving Australia;

(c) a requirement that the person remain at specified premises
between specified times each day, or on specified days;


(d) a requirement that the person wear a tracking device;

(e) a prohibition or restriction on the person communicating or
associating with specified individuals;


(f) a prohibition or restriction on the person accessing or using
specified forms of telecommunication or other technology
(including the Internet);


(g) a prohibition or restriction on the person possessing or using
specified articles or substances;

(h) a prohibition or restriction on the person carrying out
specified activities (including in respect of his or her work or
occupation);


(i) a requirement that the person report to specified persons at
specified times and places;


(j) a requirement that the person allow himself or herself to be
photographed;

(k) a requirement that the person allow his or her fingerprints to
be taken;

(l) if the person consents—a requirement that the person
participate in specified counselling or education.

What I have issue with, besides the substantial breaches of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, is the impact this would likely have on families where the bread-winner is the subject of a control order.

These abridgements to civil liberties would make it impossible to hold down a job. What would happen to the dependants when the subject of the control order loses their job? Would the Federal Government assist the family or compensate them for their loss of their job? Would the family receive food aid or is that not the problem of the Federal Government? Could the subject of the control order apply for unemployment benefits? Would the subject of the control order be able to disclose the reasons as to why they lost their job, and why they are unable to search for another a replacement job to their dole officer?

These questions need to be addressed by the Federal government as it has the potential to ruin the lives of entire families. This is completely unacceptable to me, and I assume many other Australians would feel the same way.

I mentioned the UN's Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the breaches in this act also pertain to the United Nations Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The aspects which this act breaches are as follows:

# the right to legal recourse when their rights have been violated, even if the violator was acting in an official capacity
# the right to liberty and freedom of movement
# the right to equality before the law
# the right to presumption of innocence til proven guilty
# the right to appeal a conviction
# the right to privacy and protection of that privacy by law
# freedom of thought, conscience, and religion
# freedom of opinion and expression
# freedom of assembly and association

United Nations Agreements on Human Rights

The Australian government is also legally bound to uphold the contents of the UN's Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. Australia signed the convention on 10th Dec 1985 and ratified it on 8th Aug 1989: Source. In 1993 the Australian government officially gave the UN's Office Of The High Commissioner for Human Rights the authourity to legally monitor the aforementioned Convention in Australia:


28 January 1993

"The Government of Australia hereby declares that it recognises, for and on behalf of Australia, the competence of the Committee to receive and consider communications to the effect that a State Party claims that another State Party is not fulfilling its obligations under the aforesaid Convention; and

The Government of Australia hereby declares that it recognises, for and on behalf of Australia, the competence of the Committee to receive and consider communications from or on behalf of individuals subject to Australia's jurisdiction who claim to be victims of a violation by a State Party of the provisions of the aforesaid Convention."

OHCHR - Committee against Torture

The UN's Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment says that a state would breach this Convention if it breaches "article 7 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, both of which provide that no one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment"


Article 7
No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. In particular, no one shall be subjected without his free consent to medical or scientific experimentation


I would class locking some one up in their own home without access to the outside world extremely cruel. The provisions in this Control Order allow for solitary confinement in your own home for an indefinate period of time. There is no legal obligation for the State to keep them alive either. They could be allowed to starve or jailed for breaching their control order. Who writes this stuff?

I thought the following could the first piece of this act that gives invidual rights of Australians some kind of respect:


Subdivision B—Rights in respect of control order

104.9 Service and explanation of control order

(1) As soon as practicable after a control order is made in relation to a
person, the senior AFP member who requested the order:

(a) must serve the control order personally on the person; and

(b) must inform the person of the following:
(i) the effect of the order;
(ii) the period for which the order is in force;
(iii) the effect of sections ^104.10 to ^104.13; and

(c) must ensure that the person understands the information
provided under paragraph (b) (taking into account the
person’s age, mental capacity and any other relevant factor).

(2) A failure to comply with paragraph (1)(c) does not make the
control order ineffective to any extent.

So the AFP can inform you of all this but if you dont understand it, tough luck:

Federal Policeman: Hey there cobber,
You are hereby under a federal control order
The control order starts today and will remain in force for 12 months
You may not leave your place of residence unless we say so
You cannot talk to the following people: anyone and everyone we say so
You cannot watch TV, use the internet, use your phone
You cannot inform anyone apart from your immediate family that you are safe and that your are not permitted to talk about your current cirumstances
Got it?

Subject of the control order: What the hell are you talking about?

Federal Policeman: Bye

Now you better not contradict the control order or you're going to jail.

Think your lawyer could get you out of this misunderstanding? WRONG. But hey, the Federal Government or the police NEVER make mistakes so dont worry!


104.10 Lawyer may request copy of control order

(1) A lawyer of the person in relation to whom the control order is
made may attend the place specified in the order under paragraph
^104.4(1)(f) in order to obtain a copy of the order.

(2) This section does not:
(a) require more than one person to give the lawyer a copy of the
order; or
(b) entitle the lawyer to request or be given a copy of, or see, a
document other than the order.

That means your lawyer, if youre allowed to talk to them, is only allowed to get access to the control order holding you. They are not legally entitled to view the evidence the government/federal police are locking you up based on. So your lawyer will be an overpaid, delivery man who can only show you the dates, times, duration, and signature of those who want you locked up. They do not have a hope in hell of getting you freed if youre mistakenly placed under a control order. Whether you are someone with a similar name as a terrorist or a terrorist has stolen your identity and is implicating you in a terrorist plot via your credit card or phone details: you will never know.

Edit: Im going to continue to post my synopsis and comments in this thread as I find them. Im then going to collate my points into a letter which I will send to the Victorian Premier, as well as other politicians. I'll start an Op/Ed with the contents of my letter and include any replies I get to them in that thread.

[edit on 17/10/05 by subz]



posted on Oct, 17 2005 @ 07:04 AM
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Im going to continue to post my synopsis and comments in this thread as I find them. Im then going to collate my points into a letter which I will send to the Victorian Premier, as well as other politicians. I'll start an Op/Ed with the contents of my letter and include any replies I get to them in that thread.


good idea subz. maybe drafting a form letter that people could send off might be a good idea too.



posted on Oct, 17 2005 @ 07:50 AM
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Originally posted by subz
This is the first piece that set alarm bells off in my head.


103.2 Financing a terrorist
(1) A person commits an offence if:

(a) the person intentionally:
(i) makes funds available to another person (whether directly or indirectly); or
(ii) collects funds for, or on behalf of, another person
(whether directly or indirectly); and

(b) the first-mentioned person is reckless as to whether the other
person will use the funds to facilitate or engage in a terrorist
act.

Penalty: Imprisonment for life.

This is too vague! Who defines what is "reckless"...Absurdity!


It's even more absurd than that. Read on to the next subsection and it states:


(2) A person commits an offence under subsection (1) even if:
(a) a terrorist act does not occur; or
(b) the funds will not be used to facilitate or engage in a specific terrorist act;


So it appears that you can be imprisoned for life, simply because you didn't go to enough lengths to ensure that a recipient of any funds transacted, collected, or made available by you wasn't going to use the money to buy bombs, even if s/he never did and never intended to. Simply that fact that you didn't make sure is a crime.

"Hey, Johnno, lend us 50 bucks, will ya?"

"Sure. ...Hey, you're not gonna use this to buy some bomb-making materials, are ya?"

"... ...Nah."

"Ok, no worries then, mate. Here ya go.
:"


I didn't see anything in the Bill regarding baggage being left unattended at airports.

Regarding preventative detention orders, 48 hours may seem not too harsh, especially as a preventative measure against pending terrorist acts, however once the line of detention without charge is over-stepped and the law is in place, the government only needs to then amend that time limitation by a little each time, or make the time period extendible, and suddenly we've got conviction without charge or trial. This law needs to be stopped before it becomes legislation. I'm fairly sure the existing laws with regards to conspiring to commit an act of violence are sufficient without having to take this alarming step.

[edit on 2005-10-17 by wecomeinpeace]



posted on Oct, 17 2005 @ 09:54 PM
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For those who love conspiracies, there is a serious argument to be made based on the post 9/11 result that Western governments are systematically creating laws that make it possible to arrest basically anyone without due process. It started in the US with the Patriot Act and has spread. Is this move coordinated?

If so, would it not support a coordinated executive coup in these nations that effectively takes over the Western world? Who could oppose such a move without arrest with all these laws in place? Even merely speaking out against such a move could get you detained indefinitely on trumped up vague charges.

You have to seriously question the official 9/11 story in light of the seemingly coordinated move among western governments to grant unlimited power to the executive branches post 9/11. Follow the money applies to power as well, and not simply cash.

But that's just for conspiracy lovers, not me of course.



posted on Oct, 18 2005 @ 05:35 AM
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Anyone in Melbourne:






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