Senate debates

Thursday, 30 March 2006

Telecommunications (Interception) Amendment Bill 2006

In Committee

11:41 am

Photo of Chris EllisonChris Ellison (WA, Liberal Party, Minister for Justice and Customs) Share this | Hansard source

We believe that the general prohibition introduced by this bill on access to stored communications is effective in ensuring that the provisions of the Telecommunications Act do not authorise access to stored communications. That is, this bill qualifies the Telecommunications Act as such. It covers an area so that the two operate in tandem, and this bill does bring with it a general prohibition against access to stored communications. I think that that deals with the concern that the opposition have with their amendment.

This is something that we will continue to look at. People have to realise that this bill is being introduced at this time because of the sunset date of 14 June. It is important to get this bill dealt with at this stage. We will still be considering further aspects of the Blunn report and the report of the Senate Legal and Constitutional Committee. That will happen and, as I said before, if needs be there will be amendments in the spring sittings. But we do believe that this bill qualifies the Telecommunications Act and that this amendment is not necessary.

Question negatived.

by leave—I move government amendments (13), (14) and (15) on sheet PA337:

(13)  Schedule 1, item 19, page 45 (line 14), omit “or 3-2”.

(14)  Schedule 1, page 45 (after line 20), after item 20, insert:

Intelligence Services Act 2001

20A Paragraph 14(2A)(a)

Omit “Part III of the Telecommunications (Interception) Act 1979”, substitute “Part 2-2 of the Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Act 1979”.

(15)  Schedule 1, page 46 (after line 9), after item 24, insert:

Telecommunications Act 1997

24A Section 5

Omit “Telecommunications (Interception) Act 1979”, substitute “Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Act 1979”.

24B Subsection 313(7)

Omit “interception services”, substitute “interception or access services”.

24C Subsection 313(7)

Omit “under the Telecommunications (Interception) Act 1979”, substitute “or a stored communications warrant under the Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Act 1979”.

24D Subsection 313(8)

Omit “interception services”, substitute “interception or access services”.

24E Subsection 313(8)

After “intercepted”, insert “or accessed”.

24F Subsection 324(2)

Omit “Telecommunications (Interception) Act 1979”, substitute “Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Act 1979”.

24G Section 332K (note)

Omit “Telecommunications (Interception) Act 1979”, substitute “Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Act 1979”.

These are consequential amendments relating to stored communications. Due to the change of the name of the interception act, consequential amendments to the Telecommunications Act 1997 and the Intelligence Services Act 2001 are made by these amendments.

Amendments to the Intelligence Services Act update references to the interception act. Amendments to the Telecommunications Act update references to the interception act and require telecommunications carriers to provide reasonable necessary assistance in the execution of a stored communications warrant. A similar requirement is already in place in relation to the execution of interception warrants, and I commend these three amendments to the Senate as being more of a technical nature.

Question agreed to.

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