According to the SMH, the Attorney-General Robert McClelland wants to make amendments to the Telecommunications (Interceptions) Act, allowing employers at companies that provide services that are critical to the economy to check their staff’s emails whenever they wish. At the moment, only security agencies have that power.
According to the AG:
“It’s unquestionable that it’s necessary from time to time for
network supervisors to open emails addressed to people to identify
viruses and the like …”
To justify his point, he dropped this:
“There’s no question that breaches of both government and
private sector computer networks have occurred already – in some
instances as a result of mischief, in some instances to obtain
security-sensitive information and in some cases to obtain
He also backed up his claim by giving the example of Estonia, whose central government server was crashed by hackers and pretty much shut down their government for two weeks. Don’t know about you guys, but I’m seriously flattered that the AG thinks our country’s networks are at the same pinnacle of excellence as the Estonians.
Obviously, privacy advocates are pretty pissed off by the move, claiming that the laws may be instigated for security, but in reality they’ll be used for “corporate eavesdropping and witch-hunts”.
The government wants the laws in place by the middle of next year. So until then, you should try and send as many funny links, humourous anecdotes and porn clips to your colleagues, before your boss starts watching what you’re doing and decides to give you the flick.