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Telecommunication Ammendment Bill out for comment.



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ATTORNEY-GENERAL THE HON PHILIP RUDDOCK MP

MEDIA RELEASE

8 February 2007

TELECOMMUNICATIONS AMENDMENT BILL OUT FOR COMMENT

Law enforcement agencies, telecommunications service providers and the public have the chance to comment on a draft bill that aims to simplify the legislative regime covering telecommunications interception and access to communications data, Attorney-General Philip Ruddock announced today.

The draft Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Amendment Bill 2007 proposes a single legislative framework which will clearly specify the bases on which security and law enforcement agencies can access all forms of telecommunications and related data.

The exposure draft will facilitate input from key stakeholders including Commonwealth, State and Territory security and law enforcement agencies and members of the telecommunications industry.

“The Bill seeks to consolidate in one Act the separate regimes currently regulating access to communications data and the content of communications” Mr Ruddock said.

“It is not about creating new powers of access, but instead seeks to consolidate in one place, a clearer, more accountable access regime.’’

The Attorney-General said the changes were necessary because of the rapidly changing telecommunications technologies and they would preserve and strengthen existing record keeping, reporting and oversight obligations.

The changes were recommended by the Report of the Review of Access to Communications carried out by Anthony Blunn AO. The Government has already implemented a series of recommendations from the 2005 report.

The draft Bill can be accessed on the Attorney-General's Department website at: http://www.ag.gov.au under ‘Publications’.

Media Contact: Michael Pelly 0419 278 715 or 6277 7300