The Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security (Committee) has released its advisory report (Report) on the Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Amendment (Data Retention) Bill 2014 (Cth) (Data Retention Bill). The Data Retention Bill has been controversial for a number of reasons, including due to privacy concerns in relation to its central requirement that telecommunication service providers retain certain telecommunications data for two years. The Explanatory Memorandum to the Data Retention Bill states that such data retention is required for national security and to aid investigations and prosecutions of serious offences, but this proposition has been challenged by many commentators. Concerns have also been expressed about the scope of the concept of "metadata" that will be retained by telecommunication service providers under the scheme. The Report makes two main recommendations. Firstly, that the Government provide a response to the outstanding recommendations from the Committee’s 2013 Report of the Inquiry into Potential Reforms of Australia’s National Security Legislation by 1 July 2015. Secondly, that the Data Retention Bill be amended to include the proposed data set in primary legislation, rather that in supporting regulations. The Report is available here. For more information, please contact Anne-Marie Allgrove , Toby Patten or Jarrod BaylissMcCulloch.
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