Australian Federal Police Keep Quiet on Metadata Access

By Kelley Chittenden

The Liberal/National and Labor parties of Australia passed data-retention laws last year allowing enforcement agencies warrantless access to two years of customer data (including call records, billing information, and IP addresses) stored by telecommunications companies. The Australian Federal Police (AFP) responded to a notice containing data-retention-related questions posed by Senator Xenophon during Senate Estimates hearings. The AFP contends it is unable to provide information regarding the handling of metadata of federal politicians without contravening provisions of the Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Act of 1979. Computerworld reports that AFP issued a public statement in February saying it did not access or apply to access journalist metadata since the data retention laws took effect in October 2015.