ASIO given power to hack systems

Australian intelligence organisation, ASIO, can legally hack into personal computers and bug online communications under new federal legislation.

Based on recommendations from a secret report by former ASIO deputy director, Gerard Walsh, the ASIO Amendment Bill means the organisation will be able to keep a close eye and ear on the electronic frontier.

The legislation allows ASIO operatives to hack into PCs and corporate networks to retrieve data, and add, delete, or alter data in the "target" computer, while being immune from prosecution under the Crimes Act hacking provisions.

Attorney general Daryl Williams said the legislation would enable the organisation to keep abreast of the "changing information environment", which has placed increasing demands on the organisation's intelligence gathering activities.

"These amendments do not change the substance of the functions given to ASIO by Parliament, nor do they give ASIO new powers. Rather, the Bill effects a modernisation of current powers," Williams said.

The legislation also gives ASIO access to money laundering records compiled by the Australian Transactions Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC); allows the organisation to share information with similar overseas bodies; limits ASIO's requirement to disclose information to the government; and permits the organisation to charge fees for providing intelligence services.

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David Smedley

PC World

1 Comment

CISSP

1

It also means that any computer in a court of law will most likely not hold up as evidence because ASIO could have uploaded incriminating evidence. So they could allow people to walk free. Also, this is a breach of you human right to privacy. It seems Australia for Australian people is becoming an ever increasing hostel state. It won't be long before ASIO and the government are acting like dictators, at that point you may as well work for the Chinese government because there won't be much difference.

The main problem is lack of skilled security people to lock down computer systems. Often government and big business will also hire cheap under-skilled workers to try do the job of high paid professionals to save money.

How does ASIO stopped the Chinese government or other foreign governemnts/orgs hacking Australian systems by allowing ASIO to hack Australian systems? its just an excuse to get more power and take rights away. THUGS

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