Sydney Morning Herald
December 3, 2012
AUSTRALIAN law enforcement and government agencies have sharply increased their access without warrant to vast quantities of private telephone and internet data, prompting new calls for tighter controls on surveillance powers.
Government agencies accessed private telecommunications data and internet logs more than 300,000 times during criminal and revenue investigations in 2011-12, a 20 per cent increase on the level of surveillance activity in the year before.
Figures from the federal Attorney-General’s Department show that on average, these agencies obtained private data from telecommunications and internet service providers 5800 times every week.
The data available to government agencies under federal law includes phone and internet account information, outwards and inwards call details, phone and internet access location data, and details of Internet Protocol addresses visited (though not the actual content of communications).