That didn't take long

Surprise, surprise. Pass a privacy-destroying bill in the name of counter-terrorism but make it vague enough that it can be used for any kind of spying and boom, that’s what happens:

“A major company says it plans to scour workers’ internet history for “adverse online behaviour” in a chilling example of how a proposed new law could apply to Australian workers.

Queensland power company Powerlink presented a number of examples of “online behaviours” it would seek to examine as part of a “digital footprint check” under a proposed amendment to security laws.

Listed in the presentation was the presence of news articles or media profiles featured in an employee’s internet search history that may bring “reputational harm” to Powerlink.

The company, which is owned by the Queensland government, also told union delegates it would search for “indications of poor reliability or trustworthiness, such as flagrant dishonesty” and if the person’s internet activity reveals signs they may “easily succumb to groupthink or other conformity pressures”.

Electrical Trades Union national policy officer Trevor Gauld said “one of the examples Powerlink gave was if an employee shared a political meme about legalised marijuana that might be their political view and that somehow that would be a breach”.”

File this under yet another example of poor policymaking from this government. It’s all secretive with no cost-benefit — at least one is never made available publicly or even referenced — and will have unintended consequences for years to come.