Government agencies requesting data access without a warrant


The ease with which the government would resort to undermining the privacy of its citizens just to make regulatory enforcement slightly easier is deeply concerning.

Since as early as 2012, the IPA has warned mandatory data retention would not be used solely for national security purposes.

Now, it is being reported that Primary Industries and Regions SA is seeking to become the next agency which can access retained data without requiring a warrant.

They can join this list of government agencies who should be told if they want data access, they should get a warrant:

Computerworld Australia reported earlier this month that the following agencies had applied for authorisation to access metadata:

Roads and Maritime Services in New South Wales told Computerworld Australia that it had “submitted all relevant applications“.

WorkSafe Victoria applied to be an authorised agency under the new rules“.

The Civil Aviation Safety Authorityapplied to the Attorney-General’s Department for ongoing direct access to telecommunications data.”

• the Victorian Attorney-General on behalf of the state’s Racing Integrity Commissioner in November:

I am writing to seek your support on a matter that is vital to the ongoing efforts of the Victorian Government to ensure that our racing industry is free from corruption and that our regulators have the tools necessary to ensure effective regulation of the industry.

• the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Law Enforcement who recommended that the Australian Taxation Office be designated a “criminal law enforcement agency” in September:

… a powerful parliamentary joint committee yesterday said it was persuaded the ATO should be able to access stored phone calls, emails and SMS to protect the public purse from “serious criminal activities”.

• and AOC President John Coates, who argued for an expansion of ASADA‘s powers, and said in April:

I will be raising the issue of ASADA’s powers… particularly the issue of access to metadata.


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