The Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security has commenced a review of the amendments made to Commonwealth legislation by the Telecommunications and Other Legislation Amendment (Assistance and Access) Act 2018.
The Telecommunications and Other Legislation Amendment (Assistance and Access) Act 2018 (commonly known as the Assistance and Access Act) amended a range of Commonwealth legislation to empower law enforcement and national security agencies to request, or compel, assistance from telecommunications providers. It also established powers which enable law enforcement and intelligence agencies to obtain warrants to access data and devices, and amended the search warrant framework under the Crimes Act and the Customs Act to expand the ability of criminal law enforcement agencies to collect evidence from electronic devices.
Section 187N of the Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Act 1979 provides for the review and requires the Committee to complete its review by 30 September 2020.Terms of reference are available here.
Previous and concurrent reviews of Act
This review will build on the findings of a review conducted by the Independent National Security Legislation Monitor and two previous Committee reviews.
On 26 March 2019 the Committee requested that the Independent National Security Legislation Monitor commence a review of operation, effectiveness and implementation of amendments made by the Telecommunications and Other Legislation Amendment (Assistance and Access) Act 2018 focussed on the whether the Act:
- contains appropriate safeguards for protecting the rights of individuals;
- remains proportionate to any threat of terrorism or threat to national security, or both; and
- remains necessary.
The Independent National Security Legislation Monitor provided his report to the Committee on 30 June 2020. A copy of the final report and summary of recommendations are now available. A media release issued by the Chair and Deputy Chair is available here.
The Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security tabled an Advisory Report on the Telecommunications and Other Legislation Amendment (Assistance and Access) Bill 2018 on 5 December 2018 and a report on a Review of the Telecommunications and Other Legislation Amendment (Assistance and Access) Act 2018 on 3 April 2019.
Making a submission
The Committee invites written submissions addressing any or all of the areas of focus for the Committee’s inquiry. Submissions should clearly identify which areas of focus are being addressed.
Prospective submitters are advised that any submission to the Committee’s inquiry must be prepared solely for the inquiry and should not be published prior to being accepted by the Committee. Documents do not attract parliamentary privilege until they are accepted by the Committee.
Further information about making a submission to a parliamentary committee inquiry is available here.