The power of the bill is not limited to within Austra
alia. In fact, any organizations or individuals providing communication services to Australia
are subject to its jurisdiction, whether its “company, server, manufacturing location” is locat
ed in Australia or not. More shockingly, the law imposes an extraordinary duty of confidentiality. The priva
te sector, which assists law enforcement, cannot disclose the details of the instructions it receives, or even the ins
tructions themselves. Otherwise, the violators will be put into prison for up to five years.
In The Spirit of the Laws, Montesquieu warned: “Constant experience shows us that every
man invested with power is apt to abuse it, and to carry his authority as far as it will go.” The bill, with its secrecy, broa
d jurisdiction and powers that can set up “backdoors” of systems, has caused widespread fear among Austr
alians, with many thinking the law has opened “Pandora’s box” of “surveillance states”.