Submission to the Review of Telecommunications and Other Legislation Amendment (Assistance and Access) Act 2018
6 Pages Posted: 9 Feb 2020
Date Written: October 25, 2019
Lyria Bennett Moses, Director of the Allens Hub, together with Hub member Genna Churches and Hub research assistant, Nicholas Parker, prepared a submission for the Independent National Security Legislation Monitor’s Review of Telecommunications and Other Legislation Amendment (Assistance and Access) Act 2018 (‘TOLA Act’). The Act, controversially passed on the last sitting day of Parliament into 2018 may have wide spread ramifications for broader network security and encryption protocols. The submission touches on a number of issues, including the need for clarity, transparency and accountability, particularly surrounding the boundaries of national security and law enforcement agencies power to collect, access, analyse and act on data whilst maintaining public trust. The need for transparency and accountability feeds into a discussion on the range of interpretations which could be derived from elements of the Act and that the Act itself amended the Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Act 1979 (Cth) and the Telecommunications Act 1997 (Cth) which already contained known issues of duplication, confusion and conflict. The submission closes by considering the need for public justification of such powers and if the powers are required, the appropriate form and standard of reporting on the use of those powers. The Allens Hub have been invited to provide oral evidence at the INSLM hearings in Canberra during February 2020.
Keywords: decryption laws, Australia, TOLA, Telecommunications and Other Legislation Amendment (Assistance and Access) Act 2018, data, interception, national security
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