Re-elected Australian government tightening anti-terror laws Bernard Hibbitts at 1:20 PM ET
The newly re-elected conservative government of Australian Prime Minister John Howard indicated Tuesday that it would use its greater control over the Australian Senate to secure passage of tougher anti-terrorism legislation that would allow surveillance of emails and text messages and would protect sensitive national security information in terror-related court cases. The Howard government had campaigned on its commitment to counter-terrorism initiatives, noting in its election platform [PDF] that
Since 11 September 2001, Australia has been at war with international terrorism. On 12 October 2002, the Bali bombing confirmed that Australians and our way of life are targets for terrorists. Al Qaida, Jemaah Islamiya and other groups retain the ability to stage further attacks. Under John Howards leadership, Australias counter-terrorism response has been swift, comprehensive and decisive.
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