Senate debates

Thursday, 20 September 2007

Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Amendment Bill 2007

In Committee

7:38 pm

Photo of Natasha Stott DespojaNatasha Stott Despoja (SA, Australian Democrats) Share this | Hansard source

by leave—I move Democrats amendments (2) and (3) on sheet 5380:

(2)    Schedule 1, item 12, page 9 (after line 27), at the end of section 176, add:

Judicial warrant required for access

        (7)    Notwithstanding the other provisions of this section, any authorisation for access to prospective information or documents in accordance with this section is void unless it complies with Divisions 1 and 2 of Part 2, and Part 3 of the Surveillance Devices Act 2004.

(3)    Schedule 1, item 12, page 11 (after line 30), at the end of section 180, add:

Judicial warrant required for access

        (8)    Notwithstanding the other provisions of this section, any authorisation for access to prospective information or documents in accordance with this section is void unless it complies with Divisions 1 and 2 of Part 2, and Part 3 of the Surveillance Devices Act 2004.

Both these amendments relate to judicial warrants being required for access. We believe that access to prospective telecommunications data has the potential to allow real-time monitoring of location information—that is, in effect an authorisation for access to such data amounts to a de facto surveillance device. Accordingly, we believe that access should be subject to the same scrutiny and judicial oversight as applications for surveillance devices under the Surveillance Devices Act. At a minimum, we say to the government and to the parliament: if you insist on having this kind of legislation and this particular access or these powers for law enforcement agencies, then at least ensure that you have a couple of basic safeguards in place that are at least comparable to those that already operate under the Surveillance Devices Act. Therefore, we are amending proposed section 176, which concerns ASIO, and proposed section 180, which concerns enforcement agencies, to require that access to prospective information by these organisations requires a warrant.

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