Australian law enforcement agency has data corruption issues

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Federal Mediator Report to the Minister of the Interior on institutional compliance with the 2004 law on surveillance equipment from July 1, 2020 to December 31, 2020 Launched this week, we investigated three of the four law enforcement agencies with data corruption issues.

Report [PDF] We looked at the Australian Federal Police (AFP), South Australia Police, the Australian Criminal Information Commission (ACIC) and the Australian Law Enforcement Authentication Commission (ACLEI). Only ACLEI Law Enforcement Watchdog has succeeded with flying colors.

In the case of ACIC, the Ombudsman noted three cases where the protected information was not destroyed as soon as possible. Whenever this has happened, he added that there was a “significant delay” between approval and destruction of the data.

“We have identified a case where protective information was not destroyed within five years,” the report said.

“ACIC disclosed seven additional cases that failed to destroy protected information within five years.”

The report also revealed a registration issue detailing actions taken with the authorization of a warrant or tracking device to show that the agency is acting legally.

“The Computer Access Warrant Action Card we reviewed provided enough information to understand what actions were taken under the warrant and to confirm that the correct device was accessed. It was not, ”the report said.

“As a result, we were unable to determine whether the computer targeted by ACIC was a computer to which access had been granted under a warrant.”

See: ACIC believes there is no good reason to use an encrypted communication platform

In AFP’s case, the ombudsperson found four cases that did not destroy information for more than a month after approval and one that took more than five months.

“In addition, AFP has not destroyed the protected information or proven that it will be kept within five years,” the report said.

“In three cases, AFP will only destroy the file more than five years after the warrant has been issued and will not be able to provide a file demonstrating that the protected information has been proven to be kept within five years. has been.

“In the other examples, AFP approved the destruction of protected information within five years, but did not complete the destruction until the end of the five-year period.”

The review found that AFP reported data corruption, but the ombudsman was either not enforced or could not get information from the warrant. AFP also had a problem with the action card.

The report revealed that AFP is still monitoring in foreign jurisdictions without legal approval.

“AFP disclosed this non-compliant case, but did not quarantine relevant data before being invited to do so during the test,” the report said.

“AFP has offered to quarantine as soon as we identify any illegally obtained data.”

“The surveillance device was used for the first time in extraterritoriality on December 17, 2019, but AFP confirmed that it did not send written communications to the Attorney General until May 19, 2020.”

The report says the data obtained was only quarantined after the mediator’s inspection.

AFP also disclosed two cases in which data was collected outside the scope of the warrant. He also disclosed two cases that did not notify the supervisor of the warrant or suspension of authorization, and the ombudsman subsequently uncovered two more cases.

Working with the South Australian Police, the mediator found that there was no process for destroying the files.

“SA police informed us that no staff have been delegated to perform the duties of chief officer under section 46 (1) (b) of the law,” the report says. .

“SA police reported that more than 12 months prior to our inspection, we had requested an internal legal opinion on the delegation and were told not to proceed with the destruction until such notice had been received. given.”

South African troops acquired the relevant delegations and said they would begin destruction as soon as the document was ratified.

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