Paul Karp and Josh Taylor report:
Police have conducted a series of illegal metadata searches, including Western Australian police obtaining invalid warrants targeting journalists and ACT police accessing data 116 times without proper authorisation.
The breaches of the Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Act are revealed in a Commonwealth Ombudsman report for the period July 2016 to June 2017, tabled in parliament by the government on Monday.
The metadata retention laws, introduced in 2015, allow law enforcement agencies to access telecommunications data including call records, IP addresses and other so-called metadata when investigating certain offences. Journalists’ data can also be accessed, but only with a warrant.
In addition to one instance of the Australian federal police accessing a journalist’s data without a warrant reported in 2017, the ombudsman discovered two instances where the WA police applied for – and obtained – a journalist information warrant from a person not authorised to provide it.
Read more on The Guardian