August’s Advocacy Corner Update

The Surveillance Legislation Amendment (Identify and Disrupt) Bill 2020 passed the Senate last week. This legislation enables the Australian Federal Police (AFP) and the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC) to modify, copy or delete data through a data disruption warrant, collect intelligence through a network activity warrant, and take over online accounts with an account takeover warrant. The government accepted over 60 recommendations as part of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security’s (PJCIS) report, which seek to enhance oversight powers and protections for third party and journalists, but neglected to impose a higher standard of authorisation than the Administrative Affairs Tribunal. For ISPs, this Bill may see law enforcement agencies access data or network activity to disrupt criminal offences with limited oversight or reporting.