In the public interest.
‘They could turn on us’: Shocking government plan to access citizens’ bank statements, health data and phone records revealed by bombshell leaked letter
- AFP and agencies need warrants from Attorney-General to spy on citizens
- New proposal plans to let ministers give orders without top lawyer knowing
- Government could collect data such as phone records and health information
- Plan was revealed by a leaked letter from Home Affairs Secretary Mike Pezzullo
Ministers are planning to make it easier for the government to spy on its own citizens, a leaked document has revealed.
As it stands, the Australian Federal Police and Australian Security Intelligence Organisation need a warrant from The Attorney-General to access Australians’ emails, bank records and text messages.
But ministers are reportedly planning to amend the Intelligence Services Act of 2001 to allow Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton and Defence Minister Marise Payne to give the orders without the country’s top lawyer knowing.
The intelligence – which could include financial transactions, health data and phone records – would be collected by a government spy agency called the Australian Signals Directorate.
The plan was revealed by a leaked letter from Home Affairs Secretary Mike Pezzullo to Defence Secretary Greg Moriarty.
The top secret letter, written in February and seen by The Sunday Telegraph, details a plan to ‘hack into critical infrastructure’ to ‘proactively disrupt and covertly remove’ cyber-enabled criminals including child exploitation and terror networks.