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Aussie spooks want licence to hack

by on14 January 2013

Added to licence to kill and chunder

The Aussie spy agency ASIO wants the right to turn into Australians' computers and and smartphones into botnets.  

The botnets would be used to transmit viruses to terrorists. The Attorney-General's Department is pushing for new powers for the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation to hijack the computers of suspected terrorists. It wants the ASIO be authorised to ''use a third party computer for the specific purpose of gaining access to a target computer''.

It would only be used in extremely limited circumstances and only when explicitly approved by the Attorney-General through a warrant. Spooks would not be able to obtain intelligence material from the third party computer. The ASIO Act now bans spies from doing anything that ''adds, deletes or alters data or interferes with, interrupts or obstructs the lawful use of the target computer by other persons''.

If the ban is lifted Attorney-General Nicola Roxon can issue a warrant for spies to secretly intercept third-party computers to disrupt their target.

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