Review of Telecommunications OLA assistance and access regime

THE Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security (PJCIS) today presented its review of amendments made by the Telecommunications and Other Legislation Amendment (Assistance and Access) Act 2018 (TOLA Act).

The TOLA Act amended a range of Commonwealth legislation to introduce measures to better deal with the challenges posed by ubiquitous encryption.

The committee considered the ongoing appropriateness, effectiveness and necessity of the powers conferred by the TOLA Act 2018 and made 29 recommendations to the government to amend the legislation.

The committee has recommended the powers be retained with additional safeguards and oversight mechanisms to provide the public with confidence the legislation continues to be used proportionally and for its intended purpose.

Chair of the committee, Senator James Paterson, said, “Agencies have made the case that these powers remain necessary to combat serious national security threats, and some of the worst fears held by industry at the time of passage have not been realised.

“However, these are intrusive powers that must be robustly overseen to ensure they are used appropriately, and there are improvements that can be made to the oversight framework which the committee has recommended,” Senator Paterson said.

Further information on the inquiry as well as a copy of the report can be obtained from the inquiry website.


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