Australia's proposed spyware law would make Australia even more dystopian than China.

In 2017, China started forcing citizens in Xinjiang province to install a "surveillance app" on their phones.  It's called Jingwang.  The Chinese government claims this app can "automatically detect terrorist and illegal religious videos, images, e-books and electronic documents" on a device.

China has been widely criticized for violating the human rights of its citizens in Xinjiang province.  For example, Amnesty International says "Repression ... [remains] particularly severe in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region".  However, China is only forcing spyware down the routers of Xinjiang citizens.  It hasn't mandated spyware across the country.  But Australia is trying to.

In September, Australia proposed legislation to force on all citizens what China only forces its most disliked. "The Assistance and Access Bill 2018" is a "push to compel Australia's telecommunications companies to install spyware on customers' phones" (Brisbane Times).  So much for that whole "free country" thing, huh?

Ironically, the bill contradicts Australia's official values.  And not just any value.  The first one: "Australian society values respect for the freedom and dignity of the individual".  Hopefully they know how to edit that webpage.  They will need to delete that part if this bill passes.

For the latest on the bill, see its Australian Home Affairs webpage.

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