Following questioning at a Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security hearing last month into the proposed Assistance and Access Bill, the Communications Alliance has released a list of agencies that have sought access to metadata following the introduction of Australia's metadata regime in 2015.
When the metadata laws were passed, access was reduced to 21 enforcement agencies; however, subsequently, 61 agencies that previously had access to metadata looked to be added as declared enforcement agencies.
As reported previously by ZDNet, the Attorney-General's Department (AGD) had been advising agencies and departments to attempt to access metadata through other means.
"On advice from the Attorney-General's Department, the department has considered other methods of obtaining metadata using statutory coercive powers under portfolio legislation, and by engaging the Australian Federal Police (AFP) to obtain metadata," the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources wrote a letter dated June 10, 2016, and published on RightToKnow.
"The department has received preliminary legal advice as to the merits of using coercive powers, which suggests that the approach is problematic due to the construction of portfolio legislation.
"Advice received from the AFP indicates that it does not have the resourcing, compliance, or risk considerations to obtain metadata on behalf of other agencies, including the department."
In a submission [PDF] published on Tuesday, the Communications Alliance has named 81 bodies that have sought access over the years.
"The following list was compiled by Communications Alliance Carrier Members and presents a composite picture across the industry of which agencies/departments have sought metadata from one or more carriers," the Communications Alliance wrote.
"The list might not be complete."
See: Why Australia is quickly developing a technology-based human rights problem (TechRepublic)
The industry group pointed out that a request for metadata does not mean data was disclosed. It was not possible to accurately compile how many requests and disclosures were made.
"We have seen, for example, one carrier that made 132 disclosures in response to 114 requests over a 12-month period, while some other carriers have experienced smaller volumes over similar periods," it said.
"Determining volumes is further complicated by the fact that while responses to some requests are derived from the mandatory data retention store, some requests can also be met by interrogating business systems or databases that hold similar or identical information for commercial use."
The full list is reproduced below.
- Australian Crime Commission
- Australian Border Force
- Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity (ACLEI)
- Australian Federal Police (AFP)
- AFP Act Policing
- AFP Professional Standards
- Australian Financial Security Authority (AFSA)
- Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC)
- Australian Taxation Office (ATO)
- Australia Post Corporate Security Group
- Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency
- Bankstown City Council
- Brisbane City Council
- Consumer and Business Affairs Vic
- Corrections Intelligence Group NSW
- Crime And Misconduct Commission
- Department of Agriculture
- Department of Defence
- Department of Environment And Conservation Wa
- Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources
- Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP)
- Department of Fair Trading NSW
- Department of Fair Trading Brisbane
- Department of Commerce WA
- Department of Families, Housing Community Services
- DIBP Brisbane
- DIBP Canberra
- DIBP Melbourne
- DIBP Qld
- DIBP Sydney
- Department of Family and Community Services (FACS)
- Fairfield City Council
- Fair Work Building and Construction
- Healthcare Complaints Commissions
- Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission (IBAC)
- Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) Sydney
- NSW Crime Commission
- NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA)
- NSW Office of State Revenue
- NSW Police
- NSW Police Professional Standards
- NSW Government Trade, Investment, Resources And Energy
- NT Police
- Office Of Environment and Heritage
- Office Of State Revenue NSW
- Police Integrity Commission NSW
- Primary Industries And Resources SA
- Primary Industries NSW
- Primary Industries Qld
- Primary Industries Vic
- Qld Department Of Fair Trading
- Qld Transport
- Queensland Police Service
- Racing Integrity Vic
- Regional Illegal Dumping Squad
- Rockdale City Council
- SA Fisheries
- SA ICAC
- SA Police Anti Corruption
- SA Police Internal Investigation Branch
- SA Police State Intelligence
- Tas Police
- Tas Police Internal Investigations
- Taxi Services Commission
- Transport Accident Commission Melbourne
- Vic Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport And Resources
- Vic Department of Justice
- Vic Department of Health And Human Services
- Vic Police Ethical Standards
- Vic Institute of Teaching
- Vic Police
- Vic Sheriff's Offices
- WA Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC)
- WA Department Of Fair Trading
- WA Fisheries
- WA Police State Intelligence Division
- Work Safe Vic
- Workplace Health and Safety
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