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.
"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 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
Department of Family and Community Services (FACS)