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Thursday, 25 September 2014
Page: 7215


Senator LEYONHJELM (New South Wales) (18:36): The issue under consideration at the moment is how much access ASIO should have under a single warrant in terms of a computer network. We have heard from Senator Ludlam in relation to his amendment, which was about 20 computers. That amendment was not approved.

My amendment does not seek to constrain ASIO with respect to the number of computers, but it does seek to restrain ASIO with respect to what it might do with such access. It adopts the wording that was included in the explanatory memorandum and seeks to incorporate it into the bill, bearing in mind that the bill is the legislation, not the EM. I can see no reason why the government and the opposition would not support the incorporation of the language in the EM into the bill. What it says is:

Despite anything in section 25A, a computer access warrant issued under that section may authorise access to a computer—

and, in that context, 'a computer' refers to a computer network, which is the point of contention—

only to the extent necessary to collect intelligence in respect of the security matter specified in the warrant.

It is a modest amendment and it simply incorporates in the bill what was incorporated in the explanatory memorandum. It was, in fact, recommended by the joint committee.