Email Wiretap is Permissible in Australia… for now

An amendment to the Australian Telecommunications (Interception) Act makes it easier for the police and state authorities to read citizens’ e-mails and text messages. The Australian House of Representatives passed the Telecommunications (Interception) Amendment (Stored Communications) Act 2004 which amends the Australian Telecommunications (Interception) Act of 1979, with regard to electronic messages (e-mail) and text messages (SMS). This law, the Australian government’s third attempt to amend the said Telecommunications (Interception) Act, enables the police, several Federal and State authorities, private investigators, Internet service providers and other business owners – to access e-mail messages, SMS messages, and voice messages which are temporarily stored during transfer – without a telecommunications interception warrant, even in cases the suspected offence is not grave in nature.

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