Unintended Consequences and Australia’s Assistance and Access Act 2018 – Is Australia Creating a Technology Based Human Rights Problem?
Melanie Hutchinson, Legal Counsel, Telstra Corporation, Australia
The Australian Parliament recently passed, and is in the process of subsequently debating the passage of legislation that appears to erode certain human rights, including the right to privacy. The most recent being the Telecommunications and Other Legislation Amendment (Assistance and Access) Act 2018 (the Assistance and Access Act).
The passage of this legislation heralds significant potential for unintended consequences. Further, it is not just the impact of this piece of legislation alone, but of the overarching context in which it resides, that creates the potential for a profound impact on human rights.
Digital technology has evolved to provide individuals, governments and corporations with unprecedented connectivity in their everyday lives. This paper examines the Assistance and Access Act, the context within which it sits, and potential unintended consequences.
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