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Opening Statement to the Telecommunications and Other Legislation Amendment (Assistance and Access) Bill 2018

19 October 2018

Arthur Moses SC, President-elect, Law Council of Australia

[Check Against Delivery]

"If enacted, the Bill would confer significant expansions of existing powers on law enforcement agencies, the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation, the Australian Signals Directorate and the Australian Secret Intelligence Service.

The Bill would create a new regime for law enforcement and national security agencies to compel designated communications providers to assist them in decrypting information, create a new covert computer access warrant regime and strengthen existing search and seizure powers under warrant.

The Law Council acknowledges that there is significant value to public safety in allowing law enforcement and national security agencies faster access to encrypted information where there are threats to national security or in order to prevent the commission of serious criminal offences. The Law Council also acknowledges that there is merit in facilitating prompt international cooperation and assistance to deal with serious crimes which occur across multiple jurisdictions."

You can read the full opening statement below.

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