Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Australian Spy Agency Handed Powers to Share Spy Data

Darren Pauli writes on ZDNet Australia:

Australia's chief spy agency, the Australian Security and Intelligence Agency (ASIO), has been handed new powers to share wiretaps and grill citizens on behalf of agencies without suspicion of crime.

The powers reside under the Telecommunications Interception and Intelligence Services Legislation Amendment Bill 2010, reintroduced to parliament after last year's federal election, and passed in Senate this morning.

Amendments introduced by the Greens to force ASIO to disclose certain interception details in its annual report were dumped due to concerns about national security.

The Bill means ASIO will be able to conduct telecommunications intercepts and interviews for agencies that are in the "national interest", a concept which is undefined. Officers may not need to disclose they are working on behalf of ASIO if it is similarly in the interest of security.

More here.


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