Thursday, 26 March 2015
Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Amendment (Data Retention) Bill 2015; In Committee
Senator Ludlam, I think you make a very good point, but the way you expressed yourself at the end there was wrong. We are not requiring the retention of metadata—we are not requiring it at all. The bill does not include a requirement that it be destroyed at a particular time, which is the effect of your amendment.
Senator Ludlam, I understand the point you are making and, as I say, I think it has a lot to be said for it. It is for that reason that the government adopted recommendation 28 of the PJCIS that the Attorney-General's Department oversee a review of the adequacy of the existing destruction requirements that apply to documents or information disclosed pursuant to an authorisation made under chapter 4 of the TIA Act and held by enforcement agencies and ASIO. The committee further recommended that the Attorney-General report to parliament on the findings of the review by 1 July 2017. As I say, the government has accepted that recommendation and that review will be conducted. As well as that, you will be pleased to know, Senator Ludlam, in respect of ASIO there is an agreement between ASIO and the National Archives, which was reviewed in 2012, in relation to retained material. The retention and destruction of data by ASIO is going to be examined by the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security later this year. So there are in fact two reviews. There is the IGIS review this year and the Attorney-General's Department review, which will report within a little over two years. The government will consider what those reviews have to say. I tend to agree with you, Senator Ludlam, that it is desirable that there should be a destruction date in relation to data in certain defined circumstances. But we will await and be informed by the review in making decisions concerning that issue.