Thursday, 26 March 2015
Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Amendment (Data Retention) Bill 2015; In Committee
No, Senator, because the warrant application procedure under the ASIO Act and the special intelligence operation procedure under the ASIO Act are quite separate. I hope my staff can remind me of the section that deals with special intelligence operations. The special intelligence operation is the most complex kind of covert operation that ASIO will undertake. It will be undertaken rarely. It requires a series of criteria specified in the ASIO Act to be satisfied before the Attorney authorises it. The application for a search warrant is a much more straightforward procedure. To compare a special intelligence operation to the execution of a search warrant is to compare two procedures, one of which is a very complex and unusual procedure and the other of which is not an especially complex and a much more common procedure.
Senator Xenophon interjecting—
But, Senator Xenophon, if ASIO wanted a search warrant they would apply for a search warrant, and it is a lot easier to get a search warrant than it is to get authorisation for a special intelligence operation.