Senate debates

Thursday, 30 March 2006

Telecommunications (Interception) Amendment Bill 2006

In Committee

11:38 am

Photo of Joe LudwigJoe Ludwig (Queensland, Australian Labor Party, Manager of Opposition Business in the Senate) Share this | Hansard source

by leave—I move opposition amendments (18) and (20) on sheet 4882:

(18)  Schedule 2, page 63 (after line 30), at the end of the Schedule, add:

13 After section 61A

Insert:

61B Annual reports on warrant applications

        (1)    The chief officer of a law enforcement agency must, as soon as practicable, and in any event within 3 months, after each 30 June, give to the Minister a written report that sets out:

             (a)    the number of warrant applications made in that year to which subparagraph 46(1)(d)(ii) applied; and

             (b)    the reasons given to the issuing authority for each warrant application; and

             (c)    the occasions on which the agency has obtained, in execution of a warrant to which subparagraph 46(1)(d)(ii) applies, information to which it was not entitled under the warrant; and

             (d)    the occasions on which a warrant to which subparagraph 46(1)(d)(ii) applies has been issued, but no contact has been made with the person who is subject to the warrant, by the person under investigation for the serious offence.

        (2)    The Minister must cause a copy of the report provided to the Minister under subsection (1) to be tabled in each House of the Parliament within 15 sitting days of that House after the Minister receives the report.

(20)  Schedule 2, page 63 (after line 30), at the end of the Schedule, add:

15 After section 61A

Insert:

61D Destruction of information obtained under a B-party warrant

        (1)    The chief officer of a law enforcement agency:

             (a)    must ensure that every record or report comprising communications obtained in accordance with a warrant in a case to which subparagraph 46(1)(d)(ii) applies is kept in a secure place that is not accessible to people who are not entitled to deal with the record or report; and

             (b)    must cause to be destroyed any record or report referred to in paragraph (a):

                   (i)    as soon as practicable after the making of the record or report if the chief officer is satisfied that no civil or criminal proceeding to which the material contained in the record or report relates has been, or is likely to be, commenced; and

                  (ii)    within the period of 5 years after the making of the record or report, or within each period of 5 years thereafter, unless, before the end of each 5-year period, the chief officer is satisfied that, in relation to the material contained in the record or report of a matter, civil or criminal proceedings have been, or are likely to be, commenced and certifies to that effect; and

             (c)    must caused to be destroyed any information in any form which is not material to the investigation in relation to which the warrant was issued.

        (2)    Subsection (1) does not apply to a record or report that is received into evidence in legal proceedings or disciplinary proceedings.

These amendments deal with the reporting regime and also a strengthening of the destruction regime. I think we have already effectively had that debate in the last short while. I am not going to add any more; the amendments are self-explanatory. I just press upon the government that it does need an adequate reporting and destruction regime.

Question negatived.

I move opposition amendment (10) on sheet 4882:

(10)  Schedule 1, page 43 (after line 12), at the end of Part 1, add:

Telecommunications Act 1997

9A After subsection 280(1)

Insert:

     (1A)    To avoid doubt, section 108 of the Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Act 1979 applies to access to stored communications despite any provision in Division 2.

9B After subsection 282(2)

Add:

     (2A)    Subsections (1) and (2) do not apply where section 108 of the Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Act 1979 applies.

This amendment is with respect to a warrant required for access to stored communications. It came from recommendation 1 of the committee report, to strengthen the area of stored communications, and it is a clarification of the application of the Telecommunications Act 1997 to covert access to stored communications. This was a matter raised by Electronic Frontiers Australia in their submission to the committee. It is a sensible amendment, but I do note that the government has failed to pick up most of the sensible amendments that have been moved by the opposition and the Democrats. I am not going to take up too much of the committee’s time in waiting and holding my breath for the government to see sense.

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