Handing over the keys: Contingency, power and resistance in the context of 3LA of the Australian Crimes Act 1914

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

The Australian Cybercrime Act 2001 (Cth) inserted a new section 3LA into the
Crimes Act 1914 (Cth). Section 3LA gives law enforcement officers the power to
compel a person to reveal their private encryption keys, personal identification
numbers or passwords, enabling the officers to access information held on a
computer for the purpose of investigating and prosecuting a computer related
offence. A failure to comply with the law enforcement officer's request is
punishable by up to six months' imprisonment.
This paper is a Foucauldian analysis of the nature and impact of s 3LA. Two
conclusions are reached. First, s 3LA is a technology of power that contributes to
the disciplining of society in three ways: by manufacturing fear, by redirecting the
flow of power between law enforcement agencies and private citizens, and by
panoptic surveillance. Secondly, resistance to s 3LA was not only inevitable but
contributed to its disciplinary effectiveness.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7-21
Number of pages15
JournalUniversity of Queensland Law Journal
Volume23
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2004
Externally publishedYes

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law enforcement
contingency
act
offense
imprisonment
surveillance
manufacturing
anxiety
citizen
human being

Cite this

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title = "Handing over the keys: Contingency, power and resistance in the context of 3LA of the Australian Crimes Act 1914",
abstract = "The Australian Cybercrime Act 2001 (Cth) inserted a new section 3LA into theCrimes Act 1914 (Cth). Section 3LA gives law enforcement officers the power tocompel a person to reveal their private encryption keys, personal identificationnumbers or passwords, enabling the officers to access information held on acomputer for the purpose of investigating and prosecuting a computer relatedoffence. A failure to comply with the law enforcement officer's request ispunishable by up to six months' imprisonment.This paper is a Foucauldian analysis of the nature and impact of s 3LA. Twoconclusions are reached. First, s 3LA is a technology of power that contributes tothe disciplining of society in three ways: by manufacturing fear, by redirecting theflow of power between law enforcement agencies and private citizens, and bypanoptic surveillance. Secondly, resistance to s 3LA was not only inevitable butcontributed to its disciplinary effectiveness.",
author = "Nickolas James",
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Handing over the keys : Contingency, power and resistance in the context of 3LA of the Australian Crimes Act 1914. / James, Nickolas.

In: University of Queensland Law Journal, Vol. 23, No. 1, 2004, p. 7-21.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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AB - The Australian Cybercrime Act 2001 (Cth) inserted a new section 3LA into theCrimes Act 1914 (Cth). Section 3LA gives law enforcement officers the power tocompel a person to reveal their private encryption keys, personal identificationnumbers or passwords, enabling the officers to access information held on acomputer for the purpose of investigating and prosecuting a computer relatedoffence. A failure to comply with the law enforcement officer's request ispunishable by up to six months' imprisonment.This paper is a Foucauldian analysis of the nature and impact of s 3LA. Twoconclusions are reached. First, s 3LA is a technology of power that contributes tothe disciplining of society in three ways: by manufacturing fear, by redirecting theflow of power between law enforcement agencies and private citizens, and bypanoptic surveillance. Secondly, resistance to s 3LA was not only inevitable butcontributed to its disciplinary effectiveness.

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