Australia | New surveillance law allows government to quietly modify your social media posts in Australia

On September 3, 2021, the Surveillance Legislation Amendment (Identify and Disrupt) Act, 2021 has come into force in Australia. The Surveillance Legislation Amendment (Identify and Disrupt) Act, 2021 amends the Surveillance Devices Act 2004 and Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Act 1979.


Key amendments are as follows:

  • The Act provides extraordinary powers to Australian Police (the Australian Federal Police and the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission) by introducing “Data Disruption warrants” to disrupt data by modifying, adding, copying or deleting data in order to avoid the commission of serious offences online and make minor technical corrections.
  • The Act also introduces Network Activity warrants” to enable the Australian Police to intercept data on serious criminal activity by permitting access to the devices and networks used to facilitate criminal activity.
  • Lastly, the Act introduces “Account Takeover warrants to enable the Australian Police to take over a person’s online account for the purposes of gathering evidence to further a criminal investigation and make minor amendments to the controlled operations regime to ensure controlled operations can be conducted effectively in the online environment.
  • An “emergency authorisation” procedure is also introduced which shall the above actions without a warrant under certain circumstances.


*Tanvi Singh, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.

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