Civil libs brand Internet ID checks "ludicrous"

Civil liberties organisation Electronic Frontiers Australia (EFA) has dismissed a proposal to restrict access to Internet accounts to those that can satisfy a 100 point identity check as "ludicrous".EFA's executive director Irene Graham told ZDNet Australia  the plan is unworkable.

Civil liberties organisation Electronic Frontiers Australia (EFA) has dismissed a proposal to restrict access to Internet accounts to those that can satisfy a 100 point identity check as "ludicrous".

EFA's executive director Irene Graham told ZDNet Australia  the plan is unworkable.

"Proposals to ban free e-mail accounts and require internet users to be identified before obtaining Internet accounts is not going to assist law enforcement from tracking down criminals," she said. "There're just so many ways that you could get around it anyway. . . . What's the ISP supposed to do? Check every two weeks that you're still at the same address?"

The group also moved to debunk claims made by an ex-NCA agent, acting as a witness before the Parliamentary Joint Committee on the Australian Crime Commission, that such ID checks for Internet access are mandatory in France in a supplementary submission to the committee.

"We advise that such a requirement has not been enacted in France, nor was such a requirement introduced into the French Parliament in 1999/2000 [nor has it been since then]" it said.

The latest document is supplemental to EFA's original response to the inquiry into recent trends in practices and methods of cybercrime.

Graham says that sections of the media have reported the former agent's France claim as fact, which is one reason the organisation drafted the supplementary submission.

"Some of the media have been reporting this business. . . . We just think it needs to be known that these ideas are not workable," she said.

The supplementary submission was written just to make the EFA's position clear -- Graham doesn't believe the committee was interested in the proposal.

"It seemed to me to be fairly clear that the committee was not convinced that this was a good idea," she said. "[However] we should not leave the committee with any misconception that this is a good idea".

"Words really fail me . . . it's ludicrous," she said.

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