The Australian

comment on this article on our facebook page

THE Gillard government plans to give police new powers to order the collection of real-time network traffic data and to rapidly secure evidence held on computer systems in order to join the global crime-fighting treaty.

But the government stops short of agreeing to allow real-time interception on behalf of foreign powers.

Instead, it will amend the Telecommunications Interception and Access Act to permit the collection of "prospective data" for foreign law enforcement purposes where the nation has made a mutual assistance request and the request has been approved by the attorney-general.

Details of the proposal are fleshed out in a discussion paper on Australia's proposed accession to the Council of Europe's Convention on Cybercrime released by Attorney-General Robert McClelland today.

The move was foreshadowed by the government after Mr McClelland met with US and British attorney-generals in Washington last year.

The treaty, which provides a standard framework for investigating crimes such as computer hacking, fraud, child pornography and copyright infringement across national borders, has been adopted by more than 45 countries including the US, Canada and Japan since it began in 2004.

"While Australian law substantially complies with the (necessary) obligations, there is more we can do to ensure we're in the best position to address the cyber threats confronting us, both at home and internationally," Mr McClelland said.

Key parts of the data retention and communications intercept regime are included in the draft Extradition and Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters Amendment Bill released earlier this month.

This legislation will make it easier for foreign agencies to request and obtain data collected by domestic enforcement agencies through phone intercepts, network surveillance and covert access to emails and other data stored on computers.

Full article here