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Privacy Law and Policy Reporter

Privacy Law and Policy Reporter (PLPR)
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Greenleaf, Graham --- "Privacy for Major Active Criminals" [1994] PrivLawPRpr 94; (1994) 1(6) Privacy Law & Policy Reporter 115

Privacy for Major Active Criminals

Independent Commission Against Corruption (NSW) Report on Investigation into Matters Relating to Police and Confidential Information, June 1994

ICAC investigated the discovery by the Australian Federal Police of a NSW Police Service document ''Major Active Criminals List May 1993' (the MAC list) in the hands of persons suspected of drug offences. Another very sensitive NSW Police document concerning ''bikie gangs' was found ''in criminal hands' shortly thereafter. Two more copies of the MAC list were found on later occasions. The MAC List was prepared by the State Intelligence Group (SIG), and ICAC considered its release to be a major breach of the security of criminal intelligence. ICAC's Report to NSW Parliament, under s74 of the Independent Commission Against Corruption Act 1988 (NSW), concludes that the disclosures give rise to ''grave concerns about the security of information held by police'. It found that:

The unauthorised release of the MAC List is an example of how attitudes and an environment can be created which do not discourage but indeed permit corrupt behaviour. After analysis of the information security procedures adopted (or not adopted) within the SIG it is not surprising that there has been an unauthorised release from its offices.

It found that, to some extent, all of the factors that it had identified in its 1992 Report on Unauthorised Release of Government Information had potentially contributed to the lack of adequate security. It concluded that the attitude of the Commander of the SIG toward security ''must have been a contributing factor to the lack of adequate information security'.

Graham Greenleaf

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