Data-retention inquiry hits speed bump

Data-retention inquiry hits speed bump

Summary: A Senate inquiry set to probe the government's controversial data-retention plan has suffered a setback, after the committee responsible opted not to accept the attorney-general's initial terms of reference.

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A Senate inquiry set to probe the government's controversial data-retention plan has suffered a setback, after the committee responsible opted not to accept the attorney-general's initial terms of reference.

Attorney-General Nicola Roxon had this month asked the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security to review several pieces of legislation, while consulting the public on data retention and the potential for internet service providers (ISPs) to inform the government of their network design and procurement plans in order to prevent network tampering or intrusion.

Six days after Roxon announced the review, the committee met in Canberra; a representative for the parliamentary committee told ZDNet Australia today that following the meeting, it decided not to accept the proposed terms of reference. The revelation was first published yesterday by Crikey.

The committee said in a statement that it is "considering related issues before formally deciding to commence the inquiry".ZDNet Australia understands that committee members may soon be meeting with various intelligence agency representatives to consider broadening the scope of the potential inquiry.

ZDNet Australia first broke the news in 2010, that the Attorney-General's Department was having meetings with ISPs about a potential data-retention law that would require ISPs to keep a log of Australians' internet communications, and possibly even their private browsing history.

Josh Taylor also contributed to this article.

Topics: Government, Government AU, Security

Luke Hopewell

About Luke Hopewell

A fresh recruit onto the tech journalism battlefield, Luke Hopewell is eager to see some action. After a tour of duty in the belly of the Telstra beast, he is keen to report big stories on the enterprise beat. Drawing on past experience in radio, print and magazine, he plans to ask all the tough questions you want answered.

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  • How exactly has the committee suffered a setback? It is considering broadening the terms of reference, which would appear to be a setback for the AG, if anyone.
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