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Telecommunications Amendment Bill Passes Senate

PRIVACY LAW—AUSTRALIA

February 5, 2010

The Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Amendment Bill 2009 has passed the Senate, CIO reports. The bill gives private entities the option to intercept telecommunications in order to protect their networks from cyber attacks. The pre-amended bill allowed telecommunications interception solely at national security and law enforcement agencies. The new security provisions mandate that information can only be intercepted for a "legitimate network protection function," the federal attorney-general said, adding that the government seeks to "balance the need for network integrity with an individual's right to privacy." However, one consultant says the bill's language may enable an Internet service provider to "monitor and block a wide range of customer activities."
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