Australian security inquiry deadline extended

The Australian Government has bowed to complaints from the Greens and online privacy advocates, extending the deadline for submissions to its telecommunications interception inquiry.
Written by AAP , Contributor and  Josh Taylor, Contributor

People and groups wanting to have their say on Australian national security legislation have another two weeks to make submissions to a parliamentary committee.

Parliament's joint committee on intelligence and security has extended the deadline for submissions to its inquiry into potential reforms to national security legislation.

Submissions were only open until 6 August, but can now be lodged up to 20 August.

The government launched the inquiry earlier this month, with the aim to ensure that national security laws meet emerging threats while protecting civil liberties.

"We must stay one step ahead of terrorists and organised criminals who threaten our national security," Attorney-General Nicola Roxon said when launching the inquiry.

"At the same time, we need to have the right checks and balances in place to ensure that those who enforce our national security laws, do so responsibly."

The proposals that the government has put forward — including requiring internet service providers to retain their customers' data for up to two years — has been met with fierce opposition from the Greens and civil libertarian groups. Greens communications spokesperson Scott Ludlam, who had said the proposals were a "systematic erosion of privacy", highlighted the government's decision to extend the deadline on his Facebook page and encouraged people to make their voices heard in the inquiry.

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