Attorney-General's Department to front security inquiry

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Attorney-General's Department to front security inquiry
Attorney-General Nicola Roxon.

Data retention scrutiny widens.

Representatives from the Attorney-General's Department are set to appear before the Parliamentary committee inquiring into proposed national security reforms such as the proposed data retention regime.

Six members of the department, including department secretary Roger Wilkins, will appear before the committee in Canberra tomorrow afternoon to face questions on the proposals, which include proposals to retain telecommunications metadata for up to two years.

The proposals have faced intense scrutiny since the release of a discussion paper by the department in July.

Committee members say the proposals lack detail or concrete information.

The discussion paper and subsequent submissions from both the Attorney-General's Department and spy agency ASIO have also indicated a move away from internal advice commissioned on the privacy impact of reforms to the Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Act.

The department this week blocked freedom of information requests from both Fairfax and the Pirate Party for draft exposure legislation surrounding the data retention proposal.

Committee chair Anthony Byrne said in a statement that he wished to pursue "several key issues" that had been raised throughout the hearings.

"It is important that the proposed reforms in this area are properly outlined to the committee and the Australian community by the Department leading the potential reforms," he said.

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