Requests for Access to Telecommunications Metadata under 176A of the TIA

Geordie Guy made this Freedom of Information request to Attorney-General's Department

The request was partially successful.

From: Geordie Guy

Delivered

Dear Attorney-General's Department,

I am writing to request under the Freedom of Information Act, copies of any correspondence with the department in which a body or agency not authorised under 176A of the Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Act to access telecommunications metadata, requests such authorisation either by seeking to be declared an enforcement agency under the act, or seeks authorisation external to 176A(3).

I further request that any fees be waived due to the public interest in the matter.

Yours faithfully,

Geordie Guy

Link to this

From: Geordie Guy

Delivered

Dear Attorney-General's Department,

Two days ago I sent a request for information under the FOI Act. I have sent the department a request in the past and received an automated email advising of the department's receipt of the request but on this occasion did not. Can you confirm that you have received that request?

Yours faithfully,

Geordie Guy

Link to this

From: FOI Requests
Attorney-General's Department


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UNCLASSIFIED

Dear Geordie Guy,

Freedom of Information Request FOI 15/216

I refer to your request under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI
Act) for access to documents relating to enforcement agencies under the
Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Act. I have taken your
request to be for:

‘copies of any correspondence with the department in which a body or
agency not authorised under 176A of the Telecommunications (Interception
and Access) Act to access telecommunications metadata, requests such
authorisation either by seeking to be declared an enforcement agency under
the act, or seeks authorisation external to 176A(3).’

If you disagree with this interpretation of your request, please let me
know as soon as possible.

We received your request on Tuesday 3 November 2015 and the 30 day
statutory period for processing your request commenced from the day after
that date. You should therefore expect a decision from us by 4 December
2015. The period of 30 days may be extended if we need to consult third
parties or for other reasons. We will advise you if this happens.

It is the usual practice of the department to not disclose the names and
contact details of junior officers of the department and other government
agencies, where that personal information is contained in documents within
the scope of a request.  The names and contact details of senior officers
will generally be disclosed.  We will take it that you agree to the
removal of junior officers’ personal information unless you advise that
you would like us to consider releasing that information as part of the
documents you have requested.

Please note that information released under the FOI Act may later be
published online on our disclosure log
[1]http://www.ag.gov.au/RightsAndProtection...,
subject to certain exceptions. (For example, personal information will not
be published where this would be unreasonable.)

We will contact you using the email address you provided. Please advise if
you would prefer us to use an alternative means of contact.

If you have any questions, please contact Siobhan, the Freedom of
Information case manager, by telephone on (02) 6141 6666 or by email
[2][AGD request email].

Yours sincerely,

 

Siobhan | FOI Case Manager

Freedom of Information and Privacy Section | Office of Corporate Counsel

Australian Government Attorney-General's Department | 3 - 5 National
Circuit, Barton ACT 2600
T: +61 (2) 6141 6666  E: [3][AGD request email]

 

[4]http://webdrawer/webdrawer/webdrawer.dll...

 

 

show quoted sections

Privacy Collection Notice

When you make a request for documents or an inquiry about privacy matters,
the Attorney-General s Department will only collect your personal
information where it is reasonably necessary for, or directly related to,
our functions under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 or the Privacy Act
1988. We may collect your name, email address and telephone number so that
we can contact you about your request under the Freedom of Information Act
for access to documents or access to, or correction of, personal
information; or a complaint you have made or your request for access to,
or correction of, personal information under the Privacy Act. If your
request concerns your personal information, we will collect the minimum
amount of evidence necessary to verify your identity. The handling of your
personal information is protected by the Privacy Act 1988 and our privacy
policy is available at http://www.ag.gov.au/Pages/Privacystatem....
If you have an enquiry or complaint about your privacy, please contact the
Privacy Contact Officer on 02 6141 2660 or via e-mail [email address].

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References

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1. http://www.ag.gov.au/RightsAndProtection...
2. file:///C:\Users\brownfr\AppData\Local\Hewlett-Packard\HP%20TRIM\TEMP\HPTRIM.5568\[AGD request email]
3. mailto:[AGD request email]

Link to this

From: FOI Requests
Attorney-General's Department


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Attachment FOI15 216 Signed notice of intention to practically refuse 16 November 2015.PDF.pdf
329K Download View as HTML


UNCLASSIFIED

Dear Mr Guy,

 

Freedom of Information Request FOI 15/216

 

Attached is a notice of intention to practically refuse, in respect of
your Freedom of Information request.

 

Before the decision maker makes a decision, you have the opportunity to
revise your request. You have 14 days to respond to this notice. We
therefore expect a response from you by Tuesday 1 December 2015, otherwise
your request will be taken to have been withdrawn.

 

If, after reading the attached notice, you have any questions please
contact us at [1][AGD request email] or telephone (02) 6141 6666.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Siobhan | FOI Case Manager

Freedom of Information and Privacy Section | Office of Corporate Counsel

Australian Government Attorney-General's Department | 3 - 5 National
Circuit, Barton ACT 2600
T: +61 (2) 6141 6666  E: [2][AGD request email]

 

[3]http://webdrawer/webdrawer/webdrawer.dll...

 

 

show quoted sections

Privacy Collection Notice

When you make a request for documents or an inquiry about privacy matters,
the Attorney-General’s Department will only collect your personal
information where it is reasonably necessary for, or directly related to,
our functions under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 or the Privacy Act
1988. We may collect your name, email address and telephone number so that
we can contact you about your request under the Freedom of Information Act
for access to documents or access to, or correction of, personal
information; or a complaint you have made or your request for access to,
or correction of, personal information under the Privacy Act. If your
request concerns your personal information, we will collect the minimum
amount of evidence necessary to verify your identity. The handling of your
personal information is protected by the Privacy Act 1988 and our privacy
policy is available at http://www.ag.gov.au/Pages/Privacystatem....
If you have an enquiry or complaint about your privacy, please contact the
Privacy Contact Officer on 02 6141 2660 or via e-mail [email address].

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References

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1. mailto:[AGD request email]
2. mailto:[AGD request email]

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From: Geordie Guy

Delivered

Dear Siobahn,

Thanks for your response. I'd like to clarify and/or modify my request to the following;

1) Documents which initiate, or terminate, correspondence as set out in my initial request. This would include documents in which an agency or body initially contacts AGD requesting what I've set out, and a final response advising of an outcome, but would exclude any explanatory, clarification, debate or otherwise. To use a practical example, were this test applied to this very FOI request 15/216, it would include my initial request to AGD, and whatever your final decision to me is, but exclude documents relating to your intent to practically refuse under 24AA(2), this reply from me to you, and any other requests for updates, clarifying correspondence, technical explanations or inquiries, schedules of fees etc.

2) In the alternate we may be able to concoct a way of providing me none of the currently in scope documents and we both go about our day; if either such a document exists, or in the process of investigating this request a document has been created which lists the names of each agency that fits the request scope, I modify my request to targe that document alone. This option might be useful if in the process of investigating this request, a case manager or yourself has received or sent an email that might say "there following 115 agencies are in scope of Mr Guy's request and each has 20 pages of correspondence, reply to him with intent to refuse under 24AA" - this presents an option to discharge this matter quite neatly.

Any questions or concerns, please let me know.

Regards,

Geordie

Yours sincerely,

Geordie Guy

Link to this

From: Geordie Guy

Delivered

Dear Siobahn,

Reading through your intent to refuse again, you mention amongst the legion reasons my request is unreasonable, 45 third parties who would need consultation. A third option to rescope my request is that I request any single document which lists those third parties by name.

Yours sincerely,

Geordie Guy

Link to this

From: FOI Requests
Attorney-General's Department


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UNCLASSIFIED

Dear Mr Guy,

 

Thankyou for your two emails of 17 November, responding to the
department's notice of intention to refuse letter sent to you on 16
November. In these two emails, you included three suggestions modifying
the scope of your request.

 

I can advise that the decision maker has confirmed that the department
will process your request, on the basis of your modified scope outlined at
option 2 in your email below.

 

Consequently, the scope of your request is now taken to be:

 

"any document which lists the names of each agency which is not authorised
to access telecommunications metadata under 176A of the Telecommunications
(Interception and Access) Act, which has requested such authorisation
either by seeking to be declared an enforcement agency under the act, or
seeking authorisation external to 176A(3)”

 

The department will now continue to process your request on the basis of
this modified scope.

 

Kind regards,

 

Siobhan | FOI Case Manager

Freedom of Information and Privacy Section | Office of Corporate Counsel

Australian Government Attorney-General's Department | 3 - 5 National
Circuit, Barton ACT 2600
T: +61 (2) 6141 6666  E: [1][AGD request email]

 

[2]http://webdrawer/webdrawer/webdrawer.dll...

 

 

show quoted sections

Link to this

From: FOI Requests
Attorney-General's Department


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200K Download

Attachment FOI15 216 Signed notice of estimated costs 20 November 2015.PDF.pdf
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UNCLASSIFIED

Dear Mr Guy,

 

Freedom of Information request FOI 15/216

 

Attached is a notice of assessment of charges for your Freedom of
Information request.

 

You have 30 days to respond in writing to this notice. We therefore expect
a response from you by Sunday 20 December 2015. If you fail to write to us
by 20 December 2015 your request will be taken to have been withdrawn.

 

If, after reading the attached notice, you have any questions please
contact us at [1][AGD request email] or telephone (02) 6141 6666.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

 

Siobhan | FOI Case Manager

Freedom of Information and Privacy Section | Office of Corporate Counsel

Australian Government Attorney-General's Department | 3 - 5 National
Circuit, Barton ACT 2600
T: +61 (2) 6141 6666  E: [2][AGD request email]

 

[3]http://webdrawer/webdrawer/webdrawer.dll...

 

 

show quoted sections

Privacy Collection Notice

When you make a request for documents or an inquiry about privacy matters,
the Attorney-General’s Department will only collect your personal
information where it is reasonably necessary for, or directly related to,
our functions under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 or the Privacy Act
1988. We may collect your name, email address and telephone number so that
we can contact you about your request under the Freedom of Information Act
for access to documents or access to, or correction of, personal
information; or a complaint you have made or your request for access to,
or correction of, personal information under the Privacy Act. If your
request concerns your personal information, we will collect the minimum
amount of evidence necessary to verify your identity. The handling of your
personal information is protected by the Privacy Act 1988 and our privacy
policy is available at http://www.ag.gov.au/Pages/Privacystatem....
If you have an enquiry or complaint about your privacy, please contact the
Privacy Contact Officer on 02 6141 2660 or via e-mail [email address].

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1. mailto:[AGD request email]
2. mailto:[AGD request email]

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From: Geordie Guy

Delivered

G'day Siobahn,

I agree to the charges. Please advise how I remit.

Yours sincerely,

Geordie Guy

Link to this

From: FOI Requests
Attorney-General's Department


Attachment image003.png
85K Download


UNCLASSIFIED

Dear Mr Guy,

 

Freedom of Information request FOI15/216

 

I refer to your email dated 21 November 2015. Thank you for accepting the
charges.

 

To provide you with an invoice to process the payment of the required
deposit for this request, our Finance department requires a physical
address for you. The only contact information we currently have for you is
an email address.

 

If you would prefer to provide this personal information through an
alternative email address, please quote the unique identifier for this
request: FOI15/216.

 

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or
concerns.

 

Yours sincerely,

    

Siobhan | FOI Case Manager

Freedom of Information and Privacy Section | Office of Corporate Counsel

Australian Government Attorney-General's Department | 3 - 5 National
Circuit, Barton ACT 2600
T: +61 (2) 6141 6666  E: [1][AGD request email]

 

[2]http://webdrawer/webdrawer/webdrawer.dll...

 

 

show quoted sections

Link to this

From: FOI Requests
Attorney-General's Department


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For Official Use Only

Dear Mr Guy,

Freedom of Information Request FOI15/216

 

I have emailed to your personal email address an invoice for the deposit
for the estimated charges for this Freedom of Information request.

 

I chose not to send it to this email address, as the invoice contains some
personal information.

 

Kind regards,

 

Siobhan | FOI Case Manager

Freedom of Information and Privacy Section | Office of Corporate Counsel

Australian Government Attorney-General's Department | 3 - 5 National
Circuit, Barton ACT 2600
T: +61 (2) 6141 6666  E: [1][AGD request email]

 

[2]http://webdrawer/webdrawer/webdrawer.dll...

show quoted sections

Privacy Collection Notice

When you make a request for documents or an inquiry about privacy matters,
the Attorney-General’s Department will only collect your personal
information where it is reasonably necessary for, or directly related to,
our functions under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 or the Privacy Act
1988. We may collect your name, email address and telephone number so that
we can contact you about your request under the Freedom of Information Act
for access to documents or access to, or correction of, personal
information; or a complaint you have made or your request for access to,
or correction of, personal information under the Privacy Act. If your
request concerns your personal information, we will collect the minimum
amount of evidence necessary to verify your identity. The handling of your
personal information is protected by the Privacy Act 1988 and our privacy
policy is available at http://www.ag.gov.au/Pages/Privacystatem....
If you have an enquiry or complaint about your privacy, please contact the
Privacy Contact Officer on 02 6141 2660 or via e-mail [email address].

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References

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1. mailto:[AGD request email]

Link to this

From: Geordie Guy

Delivered

Dear Siobahn,

Thanks very much, I've received the invoice for $106.02 and will remit shortly.

Have a nice day.

Yours sincerely,

Geordie Guy

Link to this

From: Geordie Guy

Delivered

Dear Siobahn,

Please note that I have paid the deposit by direct transfer today. As I don't also bank with the Reserve Bank of Australia please allow a day or two for the funds to clear.

Have a great day.

Yours sincerely,

Geordie Guy

Link to this

From: FOI Requests
Attorney-General's Department

For Official Use Only
Dear Mr Guy,

Thankyou for confirming payment of this deposit today. This is very much appreciated.

Yours sincerely,

Siobhan | FOI Case Manager
Freedom of Information and Privacy Section | Office of Corporate Counsel Australian Government Attorney-General's Department | 3 - 5 National Circuit, Barton ACT 2600
T: +61 (2) 6141 6666  E: [AGD request email]

show quoted sections

Link to this

From: FOI Requests
Attorney-General's Department


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UNCLASSIFIED

Dear Mr Guy

 

Freedom of Information request FOI 15/216

 

I can confirm that your payment of the invoice for the charges deposit for
this request cleared yesterday.

I refer to this Freedom of Information request for access to documents
listing agencies seeking to be declared an enforcement agency under the
Telecommunications Act. As your request covers documents which concern
relations between the Commonwealth and the Australian Capital Territory,
New South Wales, Queensland, South Australian, Tasmanian, Victorian and
Western Australian Governments, the Department is required to consult with
those Governments (under section 26A of the FOI Act) before making a
decision on the release of those documents.

For this reason, the period for processing your request has been extended
by 30 days in order to allow our agency time to consult with these State
and Territory Governments (section 15(6) of the FOI Act).  The processing
period for your request will now end on Friday 15 January 2016.  

The consultation mechanism under section 26A applies when we believe the
State or Territory may wish to contend that information in the requested
documents is exempt because their release may cause damage to relations
between relevant State or Territory Government or may divulge information
communicated by that Government in confidence.  We will take into account
any comments we receive from these State and Territory Governments but the
final decision about whether to grant you access to the documents you
requested rests with this Department.

More information about exemptions under the FOI Act is available in Fact
Sheet 8 on the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner’s
website:
[1]http://www.oaic.gov.au/freedom-of-inform....

I can also confirm that payment of the invoice for the charges deposit for
this request cleared yesterday.

Yours sincerely,

 

Siobhan | FOI Case Manager

Freedom of Information and Privacy Section | Office of Corporate Counsel

Australian Government Attorney-General's Department | 3 - 5 National
Circuit, Barton ACT 2600
T: +61 (2) 6141 6666  E: [2][AGD request email]

 

[3]http://webdrawer/webdrawer/webdrawer.dll...

 

 

show quoted sections

Privacy Collection Notice

When you make a request for documents or an inquiry about privacy matters,
the Attorney-General s Department will only collect your personal
information where it is reasonably necessary for, or directly related to,
our functions under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 or the Privacy Act
1988. We may collect your name, email address and telephone number so that
we can contact you about your request under the Freedom of Information Act
for access to documents or access to, or correction of, personal
information; or a complaint you have made or your request for access to,
or correction of, personal information under the Privacy Act. If your
request concerns your personal information, we will collect the minimum
amount of evidence necessary to verify your identity. The handling of your
personal information is protected by the Privacy Act 1988 and our privacy
policy is available at http://www.ag.gov.au/Pages/Privacystatem....
If you have an enquiry or complaint about your privacy, please contact the
Privacy Contact Officer on 02 6141 2660 or via e-mail [email address].

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References

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1. http://www.oaic.gov.au/freedom-of-inform...
2. mailto:[AGD request email]

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From: Geordie Guy

Delivered

Dear Siobahn,

Thanks for your correspondence. I understand the requirement to engage with other parties on the matter and while it's immaterial for the purposes of the act what I think or feel, I'm happy for the extension to be in place.

It seems important in reading the rationale for the extension to reiterate the scope of my request. I am seeking information that identifies the agencies seeking access to metadata pursuant to the recently passed legislation, not any further information as per my original request which was intended to be set aside. Because I am not seeking documents detailing any agency's rationale for requesting access, whether the department is considering the request either way (or its likelihood of success), any information detailing the process of correspondence between the department and the various state and territory governments, the identification of any individual seeking access as a representative of an agency that is seeking the access, any research potentially conducted by an agency seeking access, or any further information that serves as relating to the economy, national security, defence, deliberative processes relating to any agencies or minister's functions, or indeed any other substantive information at all, I trust that the consultative process will be relatively painless for you and the information can be provided in a timely fashion and with minimum if any redaction.

I am not seeking substantive information, only "data about the data", and would expect privacy objections to be set aside.

Yours sincerely,

Geordie Guy

Link to this

From: FOI Requests
Attorney-General's Department


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Attachment FOI15 216 Signed decision 14 January 2016.PDF.pdf
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Attachment FOI15 216 Schedule of documents.PDF.pdf
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UNCLASSIFIED

Dear Mr Guy,

 

Freedom of Information Request FOI 15/216

 

Please find attached a copy of the decision in your FOI request.

 

I will send the invoice in a separate email to your personal email
address, as it contains some personal information.

To ensure you receive a copy of the documents as quickly as possible, it
would be very much appreciated if you could please advise once you have
paid the invoice for the balance of the charges.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Siobhan | FOI Case Manager

Freedom of Information and Privacy Section | Office of Corporate Counsel

Australian Government Attorney-General's Department | 3 - 5 National
Circuit, Barton ACT 2600
T: +61 (2) 6141 6666  E: [1][AGD request email]

 

[2]http://webdrawer/webdrawer/webdrawer.dll...

 

 

show quoted sections

Privacy Collection Notice

When you make a request for documents or an inquiry about privacy matters,
the Attorney-General’s Department will only collect your personal
information where it is reasonably necessary for, or directly related to,
our functions under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 or the Privacy Act
1988. We may collect your name, email address and telephone number so that
we can contact you about your request under the Freedom of Information Act
for access to documents or access to, or correction of, personal
information; or a complaint you have made or your request for access to,
or correction of, personal information under the Privacy Act. If your
request concerns your personal information, we will collect the minimum
amount of evidence necessary to verify your identity. The handling of your
personal information is protected by the Privacy Act 1988 and our privacy
policy is available at http://www.ag.gov.au/Pages/Privacystatem....
If you have an enquiry or complaint about your privacy, please contact the
Privacy Contact Officer on 02 6141 2660 or via e-mail [email address].

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From: FOI Requests
Attorney-General's Department


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Attachment FOI15 216 Document 2 Access to historical telecommunications data REDACTED.PDF.pdf
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Attachment FOI15 216 Document 1 Enforcement Agency Applications REDACTED.PDF.pdf
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UNCLASSIFIED

Dear Mr Guy,

 

Freedom of Information Request FOI 15/216

 

I can confirm that your payment of the balance of the charges in this FOI
request has now cleared.

 

Please find attached the documents identified as being in scope, referred
to in the decision of last Friday 15 January.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Siobhan | FOI Case Manager

Freedom of Information and Privacy Section | Office of Corporate Counsel

Australian Government Attorney-General's Department | 3 - 5 National
Circuit, Barton ACT 2600
T: +61 (2) 6141 6666  E: [1][AGD request email]

 

[2]http://webdrawer/webdrawer/webdrawer.dll...

 

 

From: FOI Requests
Sent: Friday, 15 January 2016 10:36 AM
To: '[FOI #1344 email]'
Cc: FOI Requests
Subject: FOI15/216 - Signed decision [SEC=UNCLASSIFIED]

 

UNCLASSIFIED

Dear Mr Guy,

 

Freedom of Information Request FOI 15/216

 

Please find attached a copy of the decision in your FOI request.

 

I will send the invoice in a separate email to your personal email
address, as it contains some personal information.

To ensure you receive a copy of the documents as quickly as possible, it
would be very much appreciated if you could please advise once you have
paid the invoice for the balance of the charges.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Siobhan | FOI Case Manager

Freedom of Information and Privacy Section | Office of Corporate Counsel

Australian Government Attorney-General's Department | 3 - 5 National
Circuit, Barton ACT 2600
T: +61 (2) 6141 6666  E: [3][AGD request email]

 

[4]http://webdrawer/webdrawer/webdrawer.dll...

 

 

show quoted sections

Privacy Collection Notice

When you make a request for documents or an inquiry about privacy matters,
the Attorney-General s Department will only collect your personal
information where it is reasonably necessary for, or directly related to,
our functions under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 or the Privacy Act
1988. We may collect your name, email address and telephone number so that
we can contact you about your request under the Freedom of Information Act
for access to documents or access to, or correction of, personal
information; or a complaint you have made or your request for access to,
or correction of, personal information under the Privacy Act. If your
request concerns your personal information, we will collect the minimum
amount of evidence necessary to verify your identity. The handling of your
personal information is protected by the Privacy Act 1988 and our privacy
policy is available at http://www.ag.gov.au/Pages/Privacystatem....
If you have an enquiry or complaint about your privacy, please contact the
Privacy Contact Officer on 02 6141 2660 or via e-mail [email address].

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Henare Degan left an annotation ()

Money to pay the fees for this request was crowdfunded by the requester: http://www.pozible.com/project/202415

He wrote this about the request: https://futurewise.org.au/2016/01/20/ret...

As per that post, this request has been getting a bit of press, including:

"Knowledge of four state-level agencies requesting metadata access could damage state-federal relations: AGD" http://www.zdnet.com/article/knowledge-o...

"61 agencies after warrantless access to Australian telecommunications metadata" http://www.zdnet.com/article/61-agencies...

"Dozens of agencies want warrantless access to Australians' metadata again" http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/ja...

"Lamb chop weight enforcers want warrantless access to Australians’ metadata" http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/ja...

SMH: "Dozens of government agencies request access to citizen metadata without warrants" http://www.smh.com.au/technology/technol...

Sky News: "Metadata is 'a battle we need to talk about'" http://www.skynews.com.au/video/program/...

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Rob Cumming left an annotation ()

The improper use of metadata is to be deplored. #casa has a long history of poor investigations, false statements and abandoned criminal prosecutions. Allowing warrant-less use of metadata will only make these practices much worse:

http://vocasupport.com/car-234-latest-ta...

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Things to do with this request

Anyone:
Attorney-General's Department only: