Privacy Law and Policy Reporter
The Telecommunications (Interception) Act Amendment Bill 1994 has not yet passed - the latest Senate Notice paper (26/10) shows there has been no progress on it since the report of the Senate Legal and Constitutional Legislation Committee in March 1995. The Bill, which was introduced in December 1994 (see 2 PLPR 55 for a summary), was intended to implement recommendations made in the Barrett Report (see 1 PLPR 161 and 185), and to deal with carrier monitoring issues arising from the infamous Casualties of Telecom (COT) cases. The Senate Committee, which looked at the proposed amendments in a short period during March, noted the Privacy Commissioner's view that the Bill was a careful attempt to bring an increased level of discipline to the process of obtaining interception warrants and his welcome for the proposed civil remedy. The majority of the committee recommended that the Bill as introduced be enacted, although Senator Spindler (Dem) in a dissenting report, recommended against passage until the proposed regulations were available and proposed amendments to require written customer consent to recording or protracted voice monitoring by a carrier, and to provide carrier employees with a defence of good faith.
In debate on 17 October, Senator Vanstone noted that the Bill had 'strangely fallen to the bottom of the notice paper' (Senate Hansard 17 October, p 1920).