The Expanding ambit of telecommunications interception and access laws

the need to safeguard privacy interests

Niloufer Selvadurai, Rizwanul Islam

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The Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Act 1979 (Cth) allows law enforcement agencies to obtain a warrant to intercept or access telecommunications where there are reasonable grounds for suspecting activities or purposes that are prejudicial to security, or otherwise pose a threat serious enough to warrant investigation. Since its enactment in 1979, there have been a variety of amendments that have significantly extended the ambit of the operation of the TIA Act. As the Act is now over 30 years old, it is useful to consider the extent to which the legislation is achieving a proper balance between protecting national security interests or the prevention of specified types of serious offences, and the protection of privacy. Issues of interest include the 2007 amendments in relation to stored communications, the 2008 amendments in relation to access to ‘telecommunications data’, and the proposed 2009 amendments directed at improving the capacity of owners and operators of computer networks to undertake activities to protect their networks.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)378-390
Number of pages13
JournalMedia and arts law review
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2010

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  • telecommunications law
  • privacy

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