On 30 October 2014 the Federal Government introduced a bill imposing data retention requirements on telecommunications service providers. The requirements are in the Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Amendment (Data Retention) Bill 2014.

The Bill requires service providers to keep the following limited, prescribed set of telecommunications data for two years:

  • the identity of the subscriber to a communications service;
  • the source of the communication;
  • the destination of the communication;
  • the date, time and duration of the communication;
  • the type of the communication; and
  • the location of the equipment used in the communication.

Limits to what must be retained is listed in subsection 187A(4). Among other matters, a service provider is not required to keep information about the content of a person's communication or browsing history. There are also exceptions to the retention obligation if the service is provided only to a person’s immediate circle or to places in the same area (unless the service is declared by the Communications Access Co-ordinator).

The Bill limits the class of agencies that can access the data to “criminal law-enforcement agencies” although the Minister retains a right to add agencies by regulation.

The Bill can be found here. The Ministerial Speech can be foundhere