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Espoused list of spymasters enlarged: ALP gives OK as Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity and Australian Crime Commission join ASIO, Department of Defence, the DFAT and AFP

Posted by gasweek on 12 October, 2007

ALP Senator Joseph Ludwig (Queensland) told the Senate on 20 September 2007 that his party approved of the Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Amendment Bill 2007, which granted more agencies access to intercepted material.

Snooping made legal: The bill contained provisions concerning the definition of `passing over the telecommunications system’ for the purpose of a computer network operated by or on behalf of the Australian Federal Police, Ludwig said. “People who operate, protect or maintain the network or are responsible for the enforcement of professional standards in the AFP are treated as intended recipients so that their monitoring of outbound and inbound communications is not unlawful”.

More agencies join spying game: “These provisions were inserted by the 2006 amendment and were subject to a two-year sunset clause. The Attorney-General’s office has advised that the two-year sunset clause will also apply to the proposed amendments inserted in this amended bill. Items 11 and 12 would expand the number of agencies eligible for exemption under subsection 5F(2) and 5G(2) to cover Commonwealth agencies — that is, the Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity and the Australian Crime Commission; security authorities—that is, ASIO, the Department of Defence and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and eligible authorities of the states — and that would include integrity, crime commission and police forces, as well as the AFP, which is currently exempt. This amendment would increase the number of agencies which can monitor all outbound and inbound communications for the purposes of enforcing those professional standards”.

ALP salutes passage of bill: “The bill was reviewed by the Senate Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs. The committee handed down its report on 1 August 2007 and made a number of recommendations. I will refer to some of those now. At paragraph 3.77 the committee recommended: … that proposed paragraph 5(1)(m) of the Bill be deleted to remove CrimTrac from the definition of `enforcement agency’. However, it is not proposed to move an amendment in relation to that. Whilst acknowledging that CrimTrac does not have the investigative powers of a traditional enforcement or security agency, we note that CrimTrac does play a vital specialist role in assisting law enforcement. It is for this reason that we think it should remain within the bill’s definition of an enforcement agency. The committee also recommended that the Attorney-General’s Department arrange for an independent review of the operations of the Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Act 1979 within five years. The committee accepted the view of the government that it is unnecessary to amend the bill to require such a review. We support the bill.”

Reference: Joseph Ludwig, Senator for Queensland, Manager of Opposition Business in the Senate, Australian Labor Party, Senate Hansard, Commonwealth of Australia, 20 September 2007.

Erisk Net, 7/10/2007

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