Melbourne, Apr 14 : Picture this-your boss scanning through that mushy mail from your lover or what you write in your instant messenger window while chatting with your friends and colleagues while in office, and that too without your consent. Such invasion of privacy might just upset you, but that's what bosses in Australia will be doing if a new law comes into practice.
Under a new plan to avert a terrorist attack in Australia, bosses may be given power to sneak into employees' emails and monitor their Internet messaging.
The new measures, which could be in place as early as next year, would allow companies to intercept staff emails without the consent of workers, said Federal Attorney-General Robert McClelland.
He held that such powers are needed to curb attacks against country's financial, electricity and transport systems, which could turn out to be more damaging than terrorist attacks.
However, civil liberties groups have condemned such a move saying that it would allow bosses to go snooping for dirt on workers whom they want to sack.
But Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard told the Nine Network that there is nothing to fear.
"I promise we are not interested in the email you send out about who did what at the Christmas party. What this is about is looking at our critical infrastructure," News.com.au has quoted her, as saying.
While McClelland agreed to the potential invasions of privacy due to the proposal, he insisted that such an action was absolutely necessary.