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Australian Greens Digital Rights spokesperson Senator Jordon Steele-John has backed calls for an immediate overhaul of digital rights protections in Australia in the face of eroding online privacy and the rise of surveillance capitalism, following the release of Digital Rights Watch’ ‘The State of Digital Rights’ report.

Senator Steele-John said the report highlighted the extent to which the human rights of Australians were being breached online by governments and private corporations, and the clear need to enact legislation to mitigate any further breaches.

“We must move on from the damaging idea that digital rights are somehow secondary to our fundamental human rights; they are one and the same.

“Over the last decade there has been a systemic and deliberate deterioration of our human rights online by successive federal governments under the guise of national security, and intrusive corporations looking to profit off of your private and personal information.

“Yet we know that Australians are deeply concerned about their online privacy and we need urgent legislative reform to reflect this changing public sentiment.

“The Greens campaigned strongly against the introduction of a mandatory metadata retention scheme, for greater online privacy protections and the recognition that digital and online rights are human rights; in particular I would like to mention Scott Ludlam and the work he did in this space for close to a decade.

“This year we have called for a parliamentary inquiry into net neutrality provisions and for Australia to consider the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation as the gold standard for the protection

“Under current Australian law, the Government’s agenda of surveillance, and the rise of surveillance capitalism, young people might never be able to exercise their right to privacy and live their lives free from surveillance and communications interference.”


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