Explanatory Memorandum, Telecommunications (Interception) Bill 1979

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					                     PAHT I PRELIMINARY
                                                   &
Clause 1 : !?his States t h e s h o r t tit3.e of + e A c t .
Clause 2:
c
              Because -this B l l P i s p a r a l l e l l e g i s l a t i o n t o t h e
Australian Security f n t e l l i g e n c e ~ ~ ~ ~ n ~B z l la 1979, oit is
                                                         i       ~ i    n
necessary f o r t h e 2 B1.Tl.s t o Corne i n t o operation on t h e same day.
Clause 3 : hf-ter repeal.ing the Telephonic Communications
             Act 1960, t h i s clause preserves warrants i n force
(~nterception)
under t h a t Act at t h e d a t e of r e p e a l a s i f issued under t h i s B i l l .
Clause 4: By t h i s c l a u s e , t h e Crown i n a l l i t s a s p e c t s i n Australia
is bound by t h e terms o f the B i l l .
Clause_Z: This c l a u s e contains d e f i n i t i o n s of terms used i n t h e
B ~ I L . Those requiri.ng spec:^^ cornmeit are :
,tnarcotics offence' : s e c t i o n 235 of the Customs A c t r e f e r r e d
    t o i n t h e d e f i n i t i o n d e a l s with t h e punishments applicable
    t o offences concerning narcotic goods;                   accordingly, t h e term
    qnarcotic offences9 means I.n e f f e c t offences i n r e l a t i o n t o
    narcotic goods.
. ( o f f i c e r of Customs'   1   an. offS.cer o f Customs f o r the purposes of
    the Customs Act i s a porson:
    ( a ) employed. i n t h e service of t h e Cust'oms;               or
    (b)   a u t h o r i z d i n w r i t i n g by the Minister t o perform the
          functions o f an o f f i c e r o f Customs,
, 'officer   of t h e Comnd.ssi.on.~ the purpose o f t h e d e f i n i t i o n i s
                                   :

    t o ensure that t h e -beramapplies not on3.y t o o f f i c e r s and employees
    of t h e Australian Telecommunication Commission but a l s o t o
    o f f i c e r s and employees o f t h e Australian Postal. Commission who
    a r e doing a c t s on behalf of .the Australian Telecommunication
    Commission under arrangements macle be'tween the 2 Commi.ssions,
    such a s acceptance a t a Post Office of messages f o r transmission
    as telegrams;        1.t a l s o appl.i.es t o persons such as u n o f f i c i a l
                                                                                          . ./2
                                2.

   p s t m a s t e r s perfol-ming LLke services.
 itelecOIrmWkicatkon s e r v i c e B : t h c t e r n i s defined i n s e c t i o n 3 of the
   T&ecommicatiOrE Act 19'15 t o mean:
   t(a) a s e r v i c e f o r transmitting, by means of e l e c t r i c o r
         elsctro-magnetic energy            -
         ( i ) sounds, including speech axxi music;
        (ii)    v i s u a l images;
      ( i i i ) s i g n a l s f o r t h e c o r n m i c a t i o n , whether as between
                persons and persons, things and t h i n g s o r persons and
                t h i n g s , of any matter otherwise 'than i n the form o f
                sounds o r v i s u a l images;        or
        (iv)    a s e r v i c c for receiving any such sounds, images or
                s i g n a l s t h a t have 'beon transmitted by means o f e l e c t r i c
                o r electro-magne4xLc energy,
   The e f f e c t of t h e d e f i n i t i o n i n t h e present B i l l i s t h a t it
   applies t o telecommunication services as defined i n the
   TeLeconununicatio&,.Act t h a t a r e provided o r used by, o r used w i t h ,
   the a u t h o r i t y o f t h e Commission and includes p r i v a t e l i n e s and
   the l i k e which may not be connected t o t h e Commissionts exchanges.
                   Sub--cl.ause ( 2 ) dea1.a with t h e circumstances where
the Commission supplies a telecommunication s e r v i c e t o a person o t h e r
than as a subscriber i n t h e ordinary sense and deems t h e Commission
f o r t h e purposes of t h e Bi3.:1 t o be t h e subscriber t o t h a t s e r v i c e .
                   Sub-clause ( 3 ) i n paragraphs ( a ) and (b) i n d i c a t e s
the meanihgs -to be giver1           -Lo .the pPirasc3.7   'xlarcotic i n q u i r i e s t h a t
are bel.ng made by o f f i c e r s o f Customs' and ' n a r c o t i c i n q u i r i e s t h a t
have been made by o f f i c e r s of Customst,              Paragraph ( c ) deems a
reference t o a telegram t o include t h e material record held by
the Commission of t h e transrni.l,ted message.

                                                                                         .. ./3
                                                    3.                                                      7
               Sub-clause ( 4 ) w i l l p e r m i t the Attorney-General t o
              a M i n i s t e r t o p e r f O m the f~Inctj.onso f t h e Attorney-General
under t h e B i l k when t h e Attorney-General                  i s not a v a i l a b l e   ~




Clallse 6:        This d e f i n e s t h e meaning o f i n t e r c e p t i o n .
c

PART I'f INTERCEPTION AN'D '.CF%ECO1VaVIIJICATIONS MVII T%:LFJGR&lS
Clause 7:         Sub-cl.ause ( 7 ) proh.ib.i.ts t h e i n t e r c e p t i o n of a
P




communiCa t i pa 3s ing
             on                  OVBr N      te~~ecomrtruni t i o n s system
                                                         ca                            e     Exemptions
fron\ t h i s prohi.b.ition a r e s e t o u t in sub-cl.ause ( 2 ) being:

(a)    a c t s done by an o f f i c e r o f t h e Commission i n t h e course of
       i n s t a l l i n g a Line o r equipment o r i d e n t i f y i n g o r t r a c i n g
       persons contravening t h e Telecommunication Act 1975 o r
       r e g u l a t i o n s o r by-laws thereurider; o r

(b)    i n t e r c e p t i o n pursuant t o a warrant.
               Sub-clause       (4) p r o h i b i t s t h e d i v u l g i n g of i n f o r m a t i o n
obtained by i n t e r c e p t i o n except kn t h e performance o f t h e
Organization's f u n c t i o n s , f o r t h e pumoses of n a r c o t i c i n q u i r i e s o r

i n t h e performance o f d u t i e s        88   a n officez- o f t h e Telecommunications
Commission,
               Sub-clxtuae ( 5 ) recogni.zes tlzat, rin t h e course of a n
author:i.zed i . n t e r c t q t i o n , l.nfonna%;i.onrnny be acqui-red t h a t may 'be
r e l e v a n t t o another. Taw en:forcernent agency.                 Thus      both t h e
Director-General         o f Sccm:rlt;y and t h e ComptrolLer-GcnernL of Customs,
wh.ere t h e i.nf'onma.tion relatca t o the commission o r intended
commission o f a n offence pun.iskia'bl.e by n o t l e s s than 3 y e a r s '
imprisonment         w i l . 1 be empowered t o communicate t h e information t o
t h e ool.ice,     The Direc't;or-+General may communicate information r e l a t i n g
t o a n a r c o t i c offence t o Customs and t h e Comptroller-General                           may
communicate information relxt t i ng t o a c t i v j t i e s p r e j u d i c i a l t o
s e c u r i t y t o t h e Director-General.              Where t h e information concerns
m a t t e r s o u t s i d e A u s t r a l i a and t h e Director-General i s s a t i s f i e d t h a t

t h e n a t i o n a l i n t e r e s t r e q u i r e s -the communication, he may communicate
it t o a M i n i s t e r o r Department o r t o t h e Office o f National.
                                                                                                         .../4
                                                         s.                                              1
 Assessments.           Paragr+aph 7(5) ( c ) d e a l s w i t h communication by a
            o f f i c e r t o a n o t h e r p o l i c e o f f i c e r of t h e i n f o r m a t i o n
 received under t h i s p r o v i s i o n .
                 Sub-clause ( 6 ) 3.irnits t h e use tha.t can be made i n
 legal. proceedings o f t h e i n f o r m a t i o n s o o b t a i n e d .
                 Sub-clause ( 7 ) d e a l s w i t h t h e p r o s e c u t i o n o f o f f e n c e s
a g a i n s t t h i s ~1~au:ie   a



Clause 8:           This c l a u s e makes it unlawful f o r o f f i c e r s o f the
Organization o r Customs t o seek a c c e s s t o telegrams o r f o r
o f f i c e r s of t h e Telecommunications Commission t o p r o v i d e such
access except p u r s u a n t t o a w a r r a n t under t h i s B i l l and                      it
imposes a duty on t h e Director-General and Comptroller-General
t o t a k e reasonab1.e s.teps t o ensure non-contravention o f t h i s
provision.
PART IIT W R A T AUTEIOR.IZING
          A R NS'                                  THE ORGANIZATION TO INTERCEPT
TELECOMMUNICATIONS AND TELEGRAMS
- 9:-
Cl.ause             T h i s c l a u s e empowers t h e Attorney-General, when he i s
requested by t h e Director-General- and i s s a t i s f i e d t h a t a
teLecommunications s e r v i c e i s 'being used by a p e r s o n engaged i n
a c t i v i t i e s p r e < j u d i c i a l t o s e c u r i t y and i n t e r c e p t i o n by t h e
Organization wi1.I. a s s i s t i t i n i t s p r o p e r f u n c t i o n s , t o a u t h o r i z e

i n t e r c e p t i o n o f communications from t h e s e r v i c e s u b j e c t t o any
c o n d i t i o n s o r r e s t r i c t i o n s s p e c i f i e d i n t h e warrant.
                Sub-clause ( 2 ) r e q u i r e s t h a t t h e r e q u e s t by t h e
Director-General shall i d e n t i f y t h e s e r v i c e and s p e c i f y t h e f a c t s
and o t h e r grounds suppoi'ting t h e r e q u e s t .                  Under s u b - s e c t i o n ( 4 1 , a
warrant a u t h o r i z i n g e n t r y on premises s h a l l s t a t e whether t h e
e n t r y s h o u l d be made by day o r n i g h t and whether p e r m i s s i o n should
f i r s t be sought:
Sub-clauses ( 5 ) and ( 6 ) d e a l w i t h t h e p e r i o d o f t h e w a r r a n t and
provide f o r t h e re.-issue o f warrants.
                                                                                                       ./5
                                     5.
Clause   Io:     This Clause provides On a b a s i s s i m i l a r t o t h a t
p v i d e d i n the e x i s t i n g Act f o r t h e i s s u e i n emergency circumstances
subject t o r e s t r i C t i O m SpeCi.fhd i n t h e c l a u s e of warrants by
the Director-General a U t h O r i Z i n t - 1 ; i n t e r c e p t i o n of communications
to o r from a telecornmuxlcations service.                   m e restrictions are:
    the Attorney-General. has not made a d e c i s i o n i n r e s p e c t of
    t h e Director-General. s reqllest f o r a warrant n o r , w i t h i n t h e
   preceding 3 months, refused .to i s s u e a warrant i n r e s p e c t
    o f t h e s e r v i c e i n question.
    t h e Director-Gener*al has n o t w i t h i n t h e preceding 3 months
    issued a n e a r l i e r warrant i n r e s p e c t of t h a t s e r v i c e .
    t h e Director-General. is s a t i s f i e d t h a t t h e facts would J u s t i f y
    t h e i s s u e o f a warrant by the Attorney-General and t h a t , i f
    i n t e r c e p t i o n does n o t commence before t h e Attorney-Generalqs
   warrant i s ava.l.l.a'ble, s e c u r i t y w i l l be, o s is l i k e l y t o be,
    s e r i o u s l y prejudliced.
    t h e warrant may n o t be i n f o r c e mor+e t h a n 48 hours and may be
    revoked 'by 'the Attorney-Ge:rieral
    a copy o f t h e warran't and. a s.tatement of t h e grounds must be
    furnished .to the Attorney-General              e



Clause 11 : This c l a u s e d e a l s w.l.-tb -the inspectLon of telegrams
by ASI.0.      Regard must be had t o t h e d e f i n i t i o n s o f terms used i n
t h i s c l a u s e contained in sub-clause (10)e             The c l a u s e empowers t h e
Attorney-General t o I s s u e a warrant a u t h o r i z i n g t h e Telecommunications
Commission t o inspec-t and make copies o f 'telegrams lodged by a
person a t a s p e c i f i e d t e l e g r a p h o f f i c e , o r addressed t o , o r
intended t o be received by, t h a t person a t a s p e c i f i e d p l a c e and
t o f u r n i s h c o p i e s t o t h e Director-General.       The Attorney-General
must, however, be s a t l . s f i e d t h a t t h e person i s engaged i n , o r
i s reasonably suspected by t h e Director-General,                    of being engaged
                                                                                         .../6
                                   6.                                                          1
in a c t i v i t i e s p r e j u d i c i a l - t o s e c u r i t y and t h e Organization needs
access t o such telegrams LO a s s i s t it in c a r r y i n g out its f u n c t i o n s .
               Sub-clause ( 2 ) provides f o r i s s u e of warrants by t h e
Director-General         jn   emergency cLscrmstances s u b j e c t t o r e s t r i c t i o n s
specified i n t h i s clautie similar t o t h o s e provided under c l a u s e 10.
m e e f f e c t of sub-clause ( 8 ) is t h a t , while a warrant under t h i s
clause is I s s u e d t o t h e Commission, i t s a u t h o r i t y may only be
exercised by the Managing D i r e c t o r o f t h e Commission o r an
approved o f f i c e r
Clause 12:       This cl.aus;e provides f o r o f f i c e r s of t h e Organization
t o be approved t o e x e r c i s e t h e a u t h o r i t y conferred by a warrant
issued under c l a u s e s 9 o r IO.
Clause 13:
7-
                 This c l a u s e p l a c e s a n o b l i g a t i o n on t h e Director-
Generar t o inform t h e A t borney-General and d i s c o n t i n u e further
i n t e r c e p t i o n when t h e grounds on which a warrant was issued
have ceased t o exis-t.
Clause 14:
__q__n^Y
                  This c l a u s e imposes a d u t y on t h e Director-General
t o d e s t r o y any r e c a r d o r copy o f an i n t e r c e p t e d communication
when s a t i s f i e d t h a t t h e m a t e r i a l i s n o t r e q u i r e d f o r t h e performance
of t h e f u n c t i o n s o r the e x e r c i s e o f t h e powers o f t h e Organization.
Clause 'I 5:      T h i s c l a u s e requires t h e Attorney-General and t h e
Director-General when they I s s u e o r revoke a warrant under t h e Act
t o inform, amongst o t h e r persons, t h e Managing D i r e c t o r o f t h e
Telecommunications Commission and give him a c e r t i f i e d copy of
the warrant,         The .Direc.l;or.-General i s r e q u i r e d t o r e t a i n a l l warrants

issued by him and a l l warranks and instruments of revocation
received from t h e Attorney-General and all r e q u e s t s and o t h e r
documents r e t u r n e d ' @ t h e Attorney-General.             The Managing D i r e c t o r

                                                                                         .../7
                              7.
of the Telecommunications ComlssLon is likewise required to
retain all warrantsp instruments Of revocation and copies thereof
received by him from the Attorney-General and the Director-General,
Clause 16: This clause provides f o r an offence of obstmcting
c

o r hindering a person acting J.n pursuance of a warrant granted
t o them under sections       9, 1 and 11 o f the Act.
                                  0
$lause 17: This clause requires that the Attorney-General receive
within 3 months a report from the Director-General on the results
of interception under each warrant.
    PART IV   -   W       ~   ~ U ~ ~ i O ~R ~ S S ~ G O ~ ~ N T ~ R C ~ ~
                                   ~       THE C ~ S ~ TO S
                                                 ~
                  ~   ~            ~   ~   AM3 ~
                                             O     ~   ~ ~   ~
                                                             ~   ~   ~   C   G~   ~ ~   ~   SO

Clause 1 : F o r the purposes of this Part the term 'Judge' is
        8
defined by reference to J u d g e s o f State and Territory Supreme Courts
and the Federal Court.
Clause 19: This clause providefi that the Governor-General may
make arrangements with the States and the Northern Territory f o r
a l l o r some o f their Supreme Court Judges to be vested with the
powers under Part TV.
Clause 20: Under this clause, a Judge is authorlzed to issue a
 1 1
1 _ -




warrant authoslzlng interception of a telecommunication service
f o r the purposes o f narcotic inquiries. ?!e Judge must be
satisfied by information on oath that there are reasonable grounds
f o r suspecting thaL the service is being used by a person who
has coriimil;ted or i s suspected of having committed or of being likely
to commit a narcotics offence and that the interception will
assist officers in their inquiries in relation ta the matter.
          Sub-clause (2) authorizes a Sudge to grant a warrant in
respect of' a telecominunicatlnn service anywhere in Australia.
By sub-clause (3) the information furnished to the Judge shall

                                                                 .../a
                                   8.
include t h e f a c t s and o t h e r grounds t o which t h e a p p l i c a n t
               it necessary t h a t t h e warrant should be i s s u e d .
Clause 21:       " h i s c l a u s e provides f o r a Judge t o a u t h o r i z e an
o f f i c e r of Customs t o i n t e r c e p t telegrams upon grounds similar
t o those which a r e set, out in c l a u s e 20.         The warrant w i l l a u t h o r i z e
the TeleCOmmuniCatiOns Commiasiori t o i.nSpeCt and make c o p i e s of
telegrams lodged b y a person a t a s p e c i f i e d t e l e g r a p h o f f i c e ,
o r address t o , o r intended t o be received by, t h a t person a t a
specified p l a c e and t o f u r n i s h copies t o t h e Comptroller-General.
Clause 22: This c l a u s e p r o v i d e s f o r o f f i c e r s of Customs t o be
approved t o e x e r c i s e thhe a u t h o r i t y conferred by a warrant i s s u e d
under Clause 20.
Clause 2 3 :     This c l a u s e r e q u i r e s t h e Comptroller-General of
Customs t o d i s c o n t i n u e i n t e r c e p t i o n and revoke t h e warrant when
the grounds on which a wurran,t was issued have ceased t o e x i s t .
Clause 24:       This c l a u s e imposes a duty on t h e Comptroller-General
of Customs t o d e e t r o y any record of an i n t e r c e p t e d commu+cation
when satisfj.ed t h a t t h e ma-terial will not a s s i s t i n n . a r c o t i c s
inquiries.
Cl.ause 25 : T h i s cl.ause requl.res t h e COKn~l;rOl.ler-General when a warrant
i s i s s u e d under Clauses 20 o r 21 o r when a warrant so i s s u e d
i s revok,ed t o inform, arnongst o t h e r persons, t h e Managing-Director
of? t'm !rsl.ecommunica.t;l.on8 Commission. The Comptroller-General
is r e q u i r e d t o reta.:in all warrants and instruments o f r e v o c a t i o n
r e l a t i n g t o w a r r m t s und.er C:Lauses 20 and 21.
Clause 26:       !Phis c l a u s e provides f o r an offence of o b s t r u c t i n g or
hindering of? a perison a c t i n g i n pursuance of a warrant granted
under cl.auses 20 and 21 of t h e B i l l .

                                                                               .../9
                              9.                                                    1
Clause 27:    This clause requires that the Minister receive from
the comptroller-General copies of warrants and instruments of
revocation and      within three months a f t e r t h e expiration o r
revocation   Of   each Warrant,             M   report on the results of the
interception.
Clause 28: This clause provides for regulations t o prescribe
the form of warrant to be issued by a Judge.




              Printed by C. J. 'TuoMrsoN, Commonwealth GovernmentPnnser,Caiiberra