Industry ready to work on data retention detail

Sydney, 30 October 2014 – The telecommunications industry has signalled its willingness to work with the Federal Government to design a workable data retention regime that meets security needs, minimises new imposts on industry and protects consumer rights.

Speaking after the introduction of data retention legislation into parliament today, John Stanton, CEO of Communications Alliance said industry acknowledged that the government had worked during recent weeks to address some of the detail and implementation issues that have been raised by Communications Alliance and its members in the consultation process with the government.

“We welcome the move to restrict the number of agencies that can access metadata and the indication from government that it is willing to make a substantial contribution to the cost imposts on service providers that may flow from the creation of the data retention regime,” said Mr Stanton.

“We are still digesting the detail of the legislation and have no doubt that there are many issues that will need to be better refined around the implementation of any such scheme. These might include whether it is necessary or appropriate for all data to be stored for as long as two years, and how to adequately deal with the complexity of over-the-top services such as messaging platforms which generate many forms of metadata that originate and terminate on many different applications.

We would also like to ensure that any regime is not susceptible to ‘scope creep’ over time.

The industry does recognise that access to metadata is an important component of law enforcement activity as is demonstrated by the strong and constructive way in which service providers cooperate with security agencies today.

We welcome the fact that it appears there won’t be an attempt to rush the legislation through this calendar year and that the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security will have the opportunity to examine the issues in detail and take advice from industry and other stakeholders.”


Communications Alliance is the primary telecommunications industry body in Australia. Its membership is drawn from a wide cross-section of the communications industry, including carriers, carriage and internet service providers, content providers,search engines, equipment vendors, IT companies, consultants and business groups.

Its vision is to provide a unified voice for the telecommunications industry and to lead it into the next generation of converging networks, technologies and services. The prime mission of Communications Alliance is to promote the growth of the Australian communications industry and the protection of consumer interests by fostering the highest standards of business ethics and behaviour through industry self-governance. For more details about Communications Alliance, see

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