Thursday, 26 March 2015
Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Amendment (Data Retention) Bill 2015; In Committee
) ( ): I could refer to my earlier comments, Senator Xenophon, but I will add an additional point on these amendments—especially for your staff. The provisions regarding unauthorised disclosure that a warrant has been sought are standard in warrant schemes. I think I can elaborate on Senator Brandis's comments that the explanatory memorandum sets out the rationale for these provisions. Let me read those:
153. Section 182A makes it an offence for a person to use or disclose information about whether a journalist information warrant, has been, or is being requested or applied for, the making of such warrant, the existence or non-existence of such a warrant and the revocation of such a warrant. The maximum penalty for this offence is 2 years imprisonment. Section 182A is consistent with equivalent offence provisions already in place in relation to other warrants, including telecommunications interception warrants and stored communications warrants. These provisions create a "need-to-know" within an agency to protect the privacy of the person who is the subject of a TIA Act warrant.