#HeyASIO, forgot my Gmail login. Text me?
The passing of expanded anti-terror laws
in federal parliament on Thursday evening has sparked a flurry of
social media activity as critics flocked to Twitter to parody the
nation's top security body.
#HeyASIO was the most popular hashtag
in Australia on Twitter at midday on Friday, according to the
micro-blogging site's official rankings. It is a take on the popular 'Hey, girl' posts associated with actor Ryan Gosling.
allow users to filter topics on various social media platforms, with
"trending" tags pointing to the most popular at a certain time.
A Twitter user pokes fun at Prime
Minister Tony Abbott's recent comment that 'all you need to carry out a
terrorist attack is to have a knife, an iPhone and a victim'. Photo: twoih.com
The Senate passed the National Security Legislation Amendment Bill (No. 1) 2014 44 votes to 12, with bipartisan support from Labor.
The bill – the government's first tranche of tougher
anti-terrorism legislation – includes beefing up the powers of the
domestic spy agency ASIO and leaving open the possibility of mass
With a heavy dose of Australian sarcasm,
members of the public, as well as journalists and campaigners, joined
the #HeyASIO thread with comments ranging from the pointed and serious
to the downright hilarious.
Tweeters drew attention to various issues arising from the new laws.
like Matt Levinson, communications director at activist organisation
GetUp!, tweeted about the impact of the laws on personal privacy and
Others, like freelance journalist Asher Wolf, took a more serious tone.
The Act states that anybody who "recklessly" discloses "information ... [that] relates to a special intelligence operation" faces up to 10 years' jail. Any operation can be declared "special" by an authorised ASIO officer.
Mr Levinson told Fairfax Media the law put investigative journalism in Australia under threat.
"The impact of that kind of work is so important to our democracy – it's an extremely big issue for us," he said.
has been rallying against the legislation with internet freedom group
Electronic Frontiers Australia with the campaign Citizens Not Suspects.
Mr Levinson said social media was a good way to reach people who may be less clued up on the complexities of important issues.
Humour also played important role in cutting through the often "dry" nature of such issues, he said.
"There is a tendency for people to switch off and tune out – a tendency to have serious issue fatigue."
People like actor and commentator Rhys Muldoon will ensure that won't happen.
bill has yet to be debated in the House of Representatives, however
with a government majority in the lower house its passing is all but