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Wednesday, 30 November 1983
Page: 3114

Question No. 372


Mr Campbell asked the Minister for Communications, upon notice, on 24 August 1983:

Is it possible for Telecom to intercept or monitor private telephone and other telecommunications services without first obtaining the Attorney-General's warrant; if so, (a) under what circumstances can this be done, (b) is there any limit on the length of time it may do so and (c) is there any obligation on Telecom to disclose to the subscriber the fact that it has intercepted such communications.


Mr Duffy —The answer to the honourable member's question, based on advice received from the Australian Telecommunications Commission, is as follows:

Yes.

(a) The need for Telecom staff to intercept communications in this manner is recognised in sub-section 7 (2) of the Telecommunications (Interception) Act 1979. For example section 7 (2) (a) (1) of the Act exempts an act or thing done by an officer of the Commission in the course of his duties, in connection with the installation of a line or equipment or the operation and maintenance of a telecommunications system. Section 7 (4) of the Act prescribed heavy penalties for disclosure by officers of Telecom of information obtained by intercepting a communication.

(b) No.

(c) No.