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An Australian Senate committee has recommended that law enforcement authorities should only hand information to agencies from other countries if those countries have privacy protection that matches our own.

That’s one of the key recommendations made by the bipartisan committee looking into proposed cybercrime legislation, which tabled its report on August 18.

The committee has also recommended that the Cybercrime Amendment Bill 2011 should apply more detailed conditions to any telecommunications data that is disclosed to foreign countries, covering how that data might be retained and stored, and prohibiting any “secondary use” by the foreign country.

According to Australian Greens senator Scott Ludlam, the original Cybercrime Amendment Bill went beyond the European convention on which it was based, and the committee’s recommendations should help address what he called “overreach”.

The committee has also recommended that the Australia Federal Police provide ministerial reports on how often it discloses intercepts to foreign countries, which countries receive that data, how many disclosures are made, and how often that information gets disclosed even further.

The committee’s full report can be found here. ®

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