Australian police warn on phone tapping legislation

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The Australian Federal Police (AFP) has warned its government that proposed phone tapping legislation could open the way for malware and other attacks on the AFP computer system.

In its submission to the Australian Senate legal and constitutional
legislation committee, the AFP said the proposed legislative changes
could have significant operational implications for the police.
 
The proposed law, Australia's Telecommunications (Interception) Amendment Bill 2004, seeks to update existing phonetap legislation to allow monitoring of email and SMS communications.
 
The AFP said it had no problem with the key elements of the bill, but
added that a proposed change which expands the definition of
interception from listening or recording to reading or viewing.
 
The AFP added that its IT systems protect the police network with a
gateway that aims to stop viruses and malware at the point of entry.
 
Because the gateway process involves the copying of all emails with
suspect content or attachments by a human operator, the AFP claimed that the legislation could bar such routine copying of emails, unless a warrant had been issued.
 
In its submission, the AFP said its operational considerations may not have been sufficiently considered in drafting the proposed bill.
 
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