CCL made an extended submission to the Senate’s review of the Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Act (the TIA Act). We emphasized the importance of privacy as a fundamental right, central to the maintenance of democratic societies and essential for the formation of dissent and the exercise of freedom. Surveillance is a tool of tyranny.
Amongst sixteen recommendations we made were:
- That warrants under the TIA Act should only be issued where they are likely to assist in an investigation of an offence involving a risk to life and there are no other methods available to the agency to obtain the information it needs.
- That B-party warrants, which enable an officer to intercept the communications of a person against whom there is not a shred of suspicion, be abolished.
- That better restrictions be placed on the transfer of intercepted information or metadata from one agency to another.
We argued that the 330,840 authorisations made in a single year (2012-2013) for access to data about people’s internet use and telecommunications were excessive, and that agencies should be obliged to apply for a warrant before being given such authorisation.