Australia’s Federal Government is backing legislation to force internet service providers to retain data for up to two years for investigations of suspected breaches of laws including the Data Retention Act, a draft bill published on Wednesday.
Key points:The bill, known as the Data Privacy Act, would require internet service companies to keep records for two years over breaches of the data retention lawThe Government wants to tighten data retention requirements and force internet providers to keep record of breachesThe bill has been dubbed the Data Protection Act and was introduced in the Senate last weekIt was expected to pass the Senate later on Wednesday with support from the Government and the Opposition.
But Opposition Leader Penny Wong said she had concerns about the legislation, which she described as a “pilot bill” and would not have been voted on if the Government had been more focused on the issue.
“It’s disappointing, I think, that the Government is using a pilot bill as a way to pass legislation that’s very vague and that it will not pass the House of Representatives,” she said.
“What we need is real legislation.”
Mr Turnbull said the Government would introduce legislation next week to allow the Government to update the legislation.
“I believe we need to update this legislation.
I believe that the bill has changed and that the amendments we made in the last few weeks are now valid,” he said.
Mr Turnbull also told the ABC that the legislation was about protecting Australians’ privacy, not “unmasking” Australians.
“We want to make sure that we are doing everything that we can to protect people’s privacy,” he told ABC Radio National.
“That’s why we’re not going to unmask Australians in a way that we could unmask them.”
The government is looking to use the powers of the Federal Government to go back to the drawing board and come up with legislation that will actually be meaningful and that will be in the public interest.
“Mr Abbott has previously described the bill as an “attack on freedom” and said it was a way for the Government “to go back and change a number of laws”.
Mr Turnbull has also previously described internet providers as “an information service” and the bill could be seen as a veiled attack on the industry.
Mr Abbott said the bill was aimed at ensuring “good governance” by removing the “political and legal framework” that had been used to make it happen.”
This bill will allow internet service customers to be informed about what their internet provider is doing with their personal data,” he wrote on Twitter.”
Internet service providers have been used as a tool to enable government and intelligence agencies to conduct investigations and seize personal information.
“He added: “Internet service companies will not be subject to the mandatory retention of data and will be required to keep the data for two-year periods.””
This is about making sure that the information we hold is not used for political or personal gain.
“Mr Palmer also criticised the legislation for allowing the Government the ability to “use the powers” of the Australian Federal Police.”
A police officer can arrest someone, search someone, make an arrest without a warrant,” he tweeted.”
So what happens when the police can use the power of the state to go and do this without a court order?
“Mr Palmer said the legislation would also “allow the Government of Australia to use their powers to circumvent the protections of the Data Preservation Act”.”
This would allow the Australian Government to use any power of state to circumvent a law passed by the Parliament and enforce their own agenda without having to seek the advice of the Attorney-General,” he added.”
And this legislation will allow the Federal government to use that power.