Inquiry into the use of subsection 313(3) of the Telecommunications Act 1997 by government agencies to disrupt the operation of illegal online services

September 7, 2014

ALHR has made submissions to the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Infrastructure and Communications in relation to the use of section 313(3) of the Telecommunications Act 1997.

ALHR’s primary concern is that the Act should adhere to international human rights law and standards such as the ‘International Principles on the Application of Human Rights to Communications Surveillance’.

Section 313 has a very wide ambit by virtue of section 313(7) and ALHR submits that section 313 should be amended to meet a standard of clarity and precision that is sufficient to ensure that it can be applied transparently, subject to judicial review. Without such clarifications, the section places an inappropriate burden on communications providers as well as arguably breaching accepted international human rights and civil liberties in relation to online communication and privacy.