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Wednesday, 22 August 2012
Page: 6060

Senator LUDWIG (QueenslandMinister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry and Minister Assisting on Queensland Floods Recovery) (12:08): by leave—I move government amendments (12), (13) and (14) on sheet BL210 together:

(12) Schedule 2, item 41, page 36 (lines 7 and 8), omit all the words after "regard", substitute "to whether any interference with the privacy of any person or persons that may result from the disclosure or use is justifiable, having regard to the following matters:

   (a) the likely relevance and usefulness of the information or documents;

   (b) the reason why the disclosure or use concerned is proposed to be authorised.

(13) Schedule 2, item 50, page 37 (after line 21), after paragraph 186(1)(ca), insert:

(cb) if the enforcement agency is the Australian Federal Police, and information or documents were disclosed, under an authorisation referred to in paragraph (ca), by an authorised officer of the Australian Federal Police during that year to one or more foreign countries:

      (i) the name of each such country; and

      (ii) the number of disclosures under such authorisations; and

(14) Schedule 2, page 37 (before line 22), before item 51, insert:

50A Subsection 186(2)

After "subsection (1)", insert ", other than the information referred to in paragraph (1)(cb)".

The government proposes to amend the bill to address recommendations 4 and 9 of the committee. Amendment (12) makes explicit the particular elements of privacy that authorised officers must consider before deciding that an authorisation for disclosure of information or documents under the interception act is justified. The purpose of the change is to provide detailed guidance to officers about the factors and privacy considerations which must be weighed before making an authorisation. The requirement will ensure that detailed privacy considerations are made for every disclosure of telecommunications data and this responds to recommendation 4 of the committee.

Amendments (13) and (14) strengthen reporting requirements in the interception act for instances where the AFP have disclosed telecommunications data to a foreign country. The proposed amendments would require that the AFP to give the minister an annual report that includes a list of the countries to which disclosures of telecommunications data were made and the number of disclosures that were made to each country. Consistent with international practice, sensitive information that could compromise investigations or harm cooperative relationships with foreign law enforcement agencies is not proposed to be made public. This amendment responds to recommendation 9 of the committee report.