Thursday, 30 March 2006
Telecommunications (Interception) Amendment Bill 2006
by leave—The Democrats amendments oppose schedule 2 in the following terms:
(18) Schedule 2, item 1, page 62 (lines 5 to 11), TO BE OPPOSED.
(19) Schedule 2, item 2, page 62 (lines 5 to 15), TO BE OPPOSED.
(20) Schedule 2, item 3, page 62 (lines 3 to 26), TO BE OPPOSED.
(21) Schedule 2, item 4, page 62 (lines 27 and 28), TO BE OPPOSED.
The intent of the Democrat amendments is to remove the Attorney-General’s power to issue B-party warrants for ASIO. I want to make it very clear that we are talking about B-party warrants for ASIO and removing the ability of the Attorney-General to issue those warrants. We believe that it is an important safeguard that should be implemented in order to maintain a relatively high level of oversight. These changes should be passed because of the high possibility of privacy invasions under B-party warrants. Once again, I want to make it very clear that we are talking about ASIO and the Attorney-General’s power to issue those warrants to them. This is different from the issue of B-party warrants generally; it is specifically dealing with ASIO B-party warrants. Therefore, I hope the Senate will, with the recognition of that specificity, recognise the need to take that power away from the Attorney-General.