Tech Liberty submission on Search & Surveillance Bill

Tech Liberty has posted their submission about the Search and Surveillance Bill. Click the link to read the full details, but the recommendations are:


  1. Split the Search & Surveillance Bill into two, with one for enforcement agencies and the other for regulatory agencies.
  2. All targets of search and surveillance activity should have a right to be notified of this at such a time when it will not compromise the investigation.
  3. Change examination orders to retain the right to silence but provide protections for people who wish to assist Police with their investigations of serious crimes.
  4. That no information from a seized computer system, other than what is specified in the search warrant, should be able to be used.
  5. That the forensic computer system used to analyse and search the data should record a list of the searches (i.e. search terms) that are used and the results of those searches. This should be made available to the defence in the event that charges are filed.
  6. That the notification of being searched (section 126) should include details of what computer data storage items were taken and which of these were copied.
  7. That copies of computer systems must be deleted as soon as practicable (i.e. after it is decided that charges won’t be filed), and that the original owner should be notified when this is done.
  8. That computer systems must be returned to the original owner as soon as possible and that a reasonable time limit of one week should be set. This should easily be enough to allow them to be copied for further analysis.
  9. Further clarification of the meaning of “computer system” to exclude computer systems available over the Internet that are not under the control of the people being searched.
  10. The law needs some way to ensure that an innocent third-party is not penalised for being unable to assist by providing access or passwords that they do not have.
  11. Agencies compelling assistance from a third-party should have to pay the standard rates for the rendered service after a minimum time.

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