Following recent media speculation on the Parliament’s consideration of the proposed Encryption Bill, the Chair, Mr Andrew Hastie MP, and the Deputy Chair, Mr Anthony Byrne MP, of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security make the following joint statement:
“The Intelligence and Security Committee has consistently functioned in a bipartisan way to ensure that Australia’s national security and law enforcement agencies have appropriate powers to keep Australia safe. Since 2014, the Committee has considered 15 substantive national security bills and made over 300 recommendations for amendment, all of which have been accepted by government. These reports have been carefully developed to ensure that new powers are proportionate and appropriately balanced with human rights and privacy, and that commensurate oversight and accountability is provided.
The Committee will hold hearings next week with relevant agencies to hear evidence regarding the necessity and urgency of the proposed powers, as reported by some in recent press. The Committee will publicly announce any changes to the scheduled hearings as advertised.”