ASIO wants the power to hack third-party computers

The Attorney-General’s Department is pushing to give spy agency ASIO to hack into Australian computers in order to gain access to the computers and smartphones of suspected terrorists.

Currently, the ASIO Act outlaws the agency doing anything that “adds, deletes or alters data or interferes with, interrupts or obstructs the lawful use of the target computer by other persons”.

However, according to, the Attorney-General’s office would have the power to ”use a third party computer for the specific purpose of gaining access to a target computer. The purpose of this power is to allow ASIO to access the computer of suspected terrorists and other security interests”.

The news has outraged civil libertarians and industry lobby groups such as the Electronic Frontiers Foundation.


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