Issue No 11: 6 May 2020



Hot Topics
  • ACOMMS 2020: 26 August 2020 - Nominate here

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Visit the 2019 ACOMMS photo gallery here and highlights video here. Media Release here.


Submission to the PJCIS inquiry into the International Production Orders Bill 2020

Communications Alliance has made a submission to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security (PJCIS) inquiry into the Telecommunications Legislation Amendment (International Production Orders) Bill 2020. The Bill seeks to provide a framework for international agreements that would allow Australian agencies to obtain international production orders for interception, stored communications and telecommunications data directly from designated communications providers in foreign countries with which Australia has a reached an agreement. It also seeks to create the basis for foreign agencies to obtain similar data from Australian providers.

The submission notes that the Bill does not pose major concerns for Communications Alliance’s carrier/carriage services providers but requests that a cost reimbursement scheme for International Production Orders (IPOs), mirroring the existing provisions of section 314 of the Telecommunications Act 1997, be included in the legislation.

In the submission, we also highlight concerns of globally operating search engine and platform providers. Those concerns largely relate to:

  • The Bill’s attempt to require the compulsory production of user data from service providers pursuant to international agreements and to subject service providers to civil penalties for non-compliance. The US Clarifying Lawful Overseas Use of Data Act (CLOUD Act) does not contain an equivalent compulsory obligation;
  • The lack of judicial authorisation of IPOs; and
  • The limited set of circumstances for objection to an order received by a provider, i.e. non-compliance of the order with the designated international agreement nominated in the application for the order.

Comms Alliance Consults Stakeholders on new Resilience Guideline

Communications Alliance is formally consulting stakeholders on the contents of a new industry Guideline, designed to bolster the resilience of telco infrastructure during crisis periods such as major bushfire events.

Following the tragic events of the 2019/20 bushfire season, representatives from the telecommunications industry and related stakeholders attended a roundtable with the Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts, the Hon. Paul Fletcher.

One of the issues discussed was ways in which interactions between State Government emergency agencies and telecommunications Carriers/Carriage Service Providers during crisis situations could be improved.

One of the agreed actions was that the Communications Resilience Administration Industry Group (CRAIG) within Communications Alliance should finalise work it had commenced in Q3 2019 on the Resilience Guideline – effectively a Common Operating Model for telecommunications disaster management.

To ensure the processes in the Common Operating Model are as robust as possible, and able to operate at a national level, Communications Alliance is seeking additional input from a range of stakeholders. These include the various State emergency agencies, consumer representatives, the ACCC, energy network operators and other industry operatives. The consultation process will run throughout the month of May.

The Guideline seeks, among other things, to provide a common communications plan which can be utilised across various jurisdictions and communications streams. The Guideline also provides for the establishment and maintenance of a key stakeholder contact list for use in times of major service disruptions.

Anyone with questions about the Guideline can contact Craig Purdon c.purdon@commsalliance.com.au at Communications Alliance.

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Contact Tel: (61) 2 9959 9111