The Australian government is considering its options in relation to the communications monitoring powers held by the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO).
In particular, the federal body is reviewing public sentiment on a number of proposals that could force internet service providers (ISP) to retain user details for up to two years. However, it has been decided that the data retention scheme will be put forward for public debate before it is entered into legislation. According to Chris Owen – spokesman for the federal attorney-general Nicola Roxon – a review will be held by a parliamentary joint committee to determine how the laws will be put into effect.Mr Owen told SC Magazine on May 4: “We haven’t drafted legislation yet and we are seeking a wide view of opinion before we consider the reforms in detail.
“This move is being made nearly two years after discussions between intelligence authorities and ISPs regarding data retention, vulnerability management and the use of federal warrants.Current plans will see the number of agencies that are able to access potentially sensitive user information reduced over time.However, greater information-sharing protocols will see more exchanged between authorities more freely than in previous years – enabling the use of a single warrant to be used across multiple organisations.