1. Prime Minister Tony Abbott has announced more than $600 million in security measures as part of a new “Team Australia” plan to respond to the threat posed by home-grown terrorists.
The press conference on Tuesday afternoon laid out plans to force Australian telecommunications to scoop up and store all users phone and internet metadata for two years.
In what mirrored measures being passed in the United Kingom, the plan also targets “home grown terrorists” fighting in Syria and Iraq by beefing up security at the nation’s airports.
The Prime Minister described the plan multiple times as Australian citizens being part of “Team Australia”.
2. And #TeamAustralia quickly started trending on Twitter.
4. It involves all Australian internet browsing history being stored for two years.
The internet providers will shoulder the burden for holding the information until it is asked for by Australian authorities.
Mr Abbott told Channel 9’s Today Show, “It’s not what you’re doing on the internet, it’s the sites you’re visiting. It’s not the content, it’s just where you’ve been, so to speak.”
5. Plus all your phone records for two years.
The phone metadata includes who you called, when you called and the duration of the call. But does not include the content of the call.
Mr Abbott’s favoured analogy is sending a letter through the post.
“(An) interesting and I think instructive metaphor is that the metadata is the material on the front of the envelope. And the contents of the letter will remain private,” he told ABC’s AM program.
Authorities in Australia stress the information would only be accessed to track those deemed security threats.
6. There will be beefed up security at Australian airports.
According to The Daily Telegraph, there’ll be new measures at Australian airports, including the “a crack team of 80 national security officers.”
It will also include airlines being asked to provide passenger information to authorities before they get to the Airport.
8. It’ll be much harder for Australian fighting in Iraq and Syria to return home.
Another of the measures involves legislation making it harder for Australians fighting in foreign wars for terrorist organisations to return home.
The legislation is expected to specifically target conflicts in Syria and Iraq, but could possibly give authorities the chance to add wars, regions or organisations to the list.
9. And being a bigot is not part of #TeamAustralia
The press conference also saw the dumping of planned changes to the Racial Discrimination Act, which colloquially became known as Australians’ “right to be a bigot.”
Prime Minister Abbott said the changes threatened the unity of Team Australia:
“When it comes to counter-terrorism everyone needs to be part of ‘Team Australia’ and I have to say that the Government’s proposals to change 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act have become a complication in that respect.”
10. However, the threat to Australia’s security has not changed.
Mr Abbott told the press conference, “I stress that the terrorist threat here in this country has not changed. Nevertheless, it is as high it has ever been.”