Monday, 06 December 2021
Media release

Modernisation of Australia’s electronic surveillance laws

The Morrison Government is committed to modernising Australia’s electronic surveillance laws and arrangements, as part of a major reform project to streamline and modernise Australia’s national security legislation.

Minister for Home Affairs Karen Andrews today released a public discussion paper, Reform of Australia’s electronic surveillance framework, in line with the Morrison Government’s long-standing commitment to consult with industry experts and the broader Australian community on important legislative amendments.

“The Government’s proposed reforms will better protect individuals’ information and data, ensure law enforcement and security agencies have the powers they need to investigate serious crimes and threats to security, and clearly identify which agencies can seek access to specific information,” Minister Andrews said.

“The reforms contain appropriate thresholds and robust, effective and consistent controls, limits, safeguards and oversight of the use of these intrusive powers.

“The Government will balance the need for agencies to have the powers they require to protect Australians, while ensuring these powers are subject to robust controls, safeguards and oversight.

“Australians can trust the Morrison Government to deliver legislation that is clear, fit-forpurpose, proportionate and enduring, and that will keep Australians safe and protect our way of life.”

The reforms form part of the Government’s response to recommendations from the Comprehensive Review of the Legal Framework of the National Intelligence Community, which concluded that existing laws governing electronic surveillance are overly complex, inconsistent and have been outpaced by rapidly evolving technology.

To read the discussion paper and submit your views visit the Department of Home Affairs website. Public submissions will be accepted until Friday 11 February 2022, at which point the Government will consider all feedback received before presenting legislative reforms to modernise Australia’s electronic surveillance framework.