New legislation to make Australians safer

The Morrison Government will revolutionise the way Australian agencies investigate and prosecute serious crime, including terrorism, child sexual exploitation and cybercrime following the passage of legislation in the Senate today. 

Minister for Home Affairs Karen Andrews said the passage of the Telecommunications Legislation Amendment (International Production Orders) Bill 2020 will ensure Australia’s law enforcement agencies have the powers they need to protect our community.

“This legislation stands as a significant achievement for Australia. It will usher in a new generation of international crime cooperation agreements with trusted foreign countries, such as the United States,” Minister Andrews said.

“Today, almost every serious crime and national security threat has an online element. This will vastly fast-track the time it takes for police and intelligence agencies to obtain overseas-held data, which at the moment can run into months, often meaning investigations have run cold.

“This legislation enables Australian law enforcement to protect Australians more effectively by serving warrants directly to communications service providers based overseas, such as Facebook and Google.”

Previously, Australian law enforcement agencies had been unable to liaise directly with such service providers, in some cases leading to significant delays in bringing criminals to justice. With passage of the new legislation, Australian agencies will have more timely access to electronic data to combat serious crime.

Oversight by the Commonwealth Ombudsman and the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security will ensure agency use of the powers in the Bill are appropriate.

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