Source: IT News
By Justin Hendry Jan 11 2022 4:44PM

Labor wants answers after U-turn.

The federal government appears to have abandoned its plan to extend controversial encryption-busting powers to federal, state and territory anti-corruption bodies, despite previously endorsing such a move.

Labor used the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security (PJCIS) review of the Assistance and Access Act [pdf] last month to call out the apparent U-turn, for which it said the government has offered “no explanation”.

In the review, the committee supported the ongoing use of the legislation, while making 29 recommendations that would see additional safeguards and oversight mechanisms introduced if adopted.

But absent from the list was the Independent National Security Legislation Monitor’s (INSLM) 2020 recommendation to extend the industry assistance powers to state and territory anti-corruption commissions.

The government had previously sought to introduce amendments to the Assistance and Access Act to extend the powers beyond the Australian Federal Police, Australian Criminal Intelligence Agency and state policing agencies.