Submission: Comprehensive revision of the Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Act 1979

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.

Read our full submission