A new attack on civil liberties


#151; On August 8, a new attack on civil liberties was approved by the federal parliament with the passage of amendments to the National Investigative Powers and Witness Protection Act (2006). The amendment bill was pushed through the Senate in 24 hours, with the ALP's support.

Under amended act, federal police and spy agencies will legally be able to carry out secret searches of people's homes and computers, and plant surveillance devices in people's homes without notifying their occupants for 18 months under "delayed notification search warrants".

The legislation also allows federal police to secretly seize and copy documents and gives immunity from prosecution to federal agents and civilian informants for criminal acts committed in the course of "controlled operations".