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Scrap Data Retention Bill - Law Institute


22 January 2015 at 10:55 am
Xavier Smerdon
The Federal Government’s controversial data retention legislation should be scrapped, according to the Law Institute of Victoria.

Xavier Smerdon | 22 January 2015 at 10:55 am


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Scrap Data Retention Bill - Law Institute
22 January 2015 at 10:55 am

The Federal Government’s controversial data retention legislation should be scrapped, according to the Law Institute of Victoria.

LIV President Katie Miller said the Government had effectively asked Parliament for a blank cheque which will be paid for by citizens with their privacy and their tax dollars.

Miller said that the data retention scheme proposed in the Bill is invasive, likely to be very costly and threatened the right to privacy, freedoms of expression and association and a free press.

“The Bill as it stands fails to address the serious privacy, freedom and data security concerns that have been raised in relation to mandatory data retention both in Australia and overseas,” Miller said.

“Our mobile and internet devices means we are more connected to each other than ever, which the Government proposes to exploit by creating a spider web of records.”

In its submission to the Parliamentary Joint Intelligence and Security Committee, the LIV raised over 30 serious questions and concerns about the Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Amendment (Data Retention) Bill 2014.

“I call on this Parliamentary Committee to hold the Government to account for its failure to make a case for the Bill,” Miller said.

The LIV says in its submission, written by LIV Policy Lawyer Leanne O’Donnell, that the Bill should be withdrawn.

In the event that the Committee does not agree with this position the LIV recommends the following safeguards:

  • The data set must be defined in the primary legislation

  • Providers should not be required to create data

  • The agencies which can access telecommunications data should be exhaustively set out in the legislation

  • Access to telecommunications data must be restricted to criminal law enforcement agencies for preventing, detecting or enforcing serious crimes

  • Access to telecommunications data should require judicial oversight

  • Specific protections for privileged and confidential information are needed

  • Data retention periods should be reduced to what is strictly necessary and proportionate

The LIV submission is available here.


Xavier Smerdon  |  Journalist  |  @XavierSmerdon

Xavier Smerdon is a journalist specialising in the Not for Profit sector. He writes breaking and investigative news articles.

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