Gas Week

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Greens say telephone and internet companies will be required to funnel data on phone calls, email, VOIP and web browsing in real time to the police or ASIO under Govt legislation

Posted by gasweek on 11 October, 2007

Greens Senator Kerry Nettle (New South Wales) told the Senate on 20 September 2007 that, under the Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Amendment Bill 2007, telecommunication companies would have to funnel data in real time to the police or ASIO.

Companies to feed suspect info direct to ASIO: “Telephone and Internet companies will be required to funnel data on phone calls, email, voice-over-the-internet (VOIP) and web browsing in real time to the police or ASIO,” Nettle said. “The data includes phone numbers, caller locations, web addresses and other telecommunications information”.

ASIO gets access to some info for first time: “Before examining in detail the Greens particular concerns about this bill I will briefly review the sections of the bill that set up these new powers for the police and ASIO. Unlike much of the Bill, the proposed Sections 176 and 180 are not merely the shifting of provisions of the Telecommunications Act. Rather they allow ASIO, police and other criminal law enforcement agencies access to telecommunications information they have never had before. Section 176 allows an eligible person within ASIO to authorize the disclosure of prospective telecommunications data to ASIO, on a “near real-time” basis for a period of 90 days”.

Minute by minute surveillance: “Section 180 allows an authorised officer within a criminal law-enforcement agency which includes state and federal police to authorise the disclosure of prospective telecommunications data to that agency, on a near real-time basis for a period of 45 days. In order to issue such an authorisation, the authorised officer must be satisfied that the disclosure is reasonably necessary for the investigation of an offence that is punishable by imprisonment for at least 3 years. I understand from communication between my office and the government that near-real time means immediate communication from the telecommunications company or Internet service provider and the agency. How instantaneous such communication would be is dependent on technological capacity but it would be no more than a few minutes”.

Reference: Kerry Nettle, Senator for New South Wales, Australian Greens Party, Senate Hansard, Commonwealth of Australia, 20 September 2007

Erisk Net, 7/10/2007

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