Issue of computer access warrant
(1) If the Director-General requests the Minister to do so, and the Minister is satisfied as mentioned in subsection (2), the Minister may issue a warrant in accordance with this section.
Test for issue of warrant
(2) The Minister is only to issue the warrant if he or she is satisfied that there are reasonable grounds for believing that access by the Organisation to data held in a computer (the target computer ) will substantially assist the collection of intelligence in accordance with this Act in respect of a matter (the security matter ) that is important in relation to security.
Note: See section 22 for the definition of computer .
(3) The target computer may be any one or more of the following:
(a) a particular computer;
(b) a computer on particular premises;
(c) a computer associated with, used by or likely to be used by, a person (whose identity may or may not be known).
Authorisation in warrant
(3A) The warrant must:
(a) be signed by the Minister; and
(b) authorise the Organisation to do specified things, subject to any restrictions or conditions specified in the warrant, in relation to the target computer; and
(c) if the target computer is or includes a particular computer--specify the computer; and
(d) if the target computer is or includes a computer on particular premises--specify the premises; and
(e) if the target computer is or includes a computer associated with, used by or likely to be used by, a person--specify the person (whether by name or otherwise).
Things that may be authorised in warrant
(4) The things that may be specified are any of the following that the Minister considers appropriate in the circumstances:
(aa) entering specified premises for the purposes of doing the things mentioned in this subsection;
(aaa) entering any premises for the purposes of gaining entry to or exiting the specified premises;
(i) the target computer; or
(ii) a telecommunications facility operated or provided by the Commonwealth or a carrier; or
(iii) any other electronic equipment; or
(iv) a data storage device;
for the purpose of obtaining access to data (the relevant data ) that is relevant to the security matter and is held in the target computer at any time while the warrant is in force and, if necessary to achieve that purpose, adding, copying, deleting or altering other data in the target computer;
(ab) if, having regard to other methods (if any) of obtaining access to the relevant data which are likely to be as effective, it is reasonable in all the circumstances to do so--using any other computer or a communication in transit to access the relevant data and, if necessary to achieve that purpose, adding, copying, deleting or altering other data in the computer or the communication in transit;
(b) copying any data to which access has been obtained, that appears to be relevant to the collection of intelligence by the Organisation in accordance with this Act;
(c) any thing reasonably necessary to conceal the fact that any thing has been done under the warrant;
(d) any other thing reasonably incidental to any of the above.
Note: As a result of the warrant, a person who, by means of a telecommunications facility, obtains access to data stored in a computer etc. will not commit an offence under Part 10-7 of the Criminal Code or equivalent State or Territory laws (provided that the person acts within the authority of the warrant).
Certain acts not authorised
(5) Subsection (4) does not authorise the addition, deletion or alteration of data, or the doing of any thing, that is likely to:
(a) materially interfere with, interrupt or obstruct a communication in transit or the lawful use by other persons of a computer unless the addition, deletion or alteration, or the doing of the thing, is necessary to do one or more of the things specified in the warrant; or
(b) cause any other material loss or damage to other persons lawfully using a computer.
Warrant must provide for certain matters
(5A) The warrant must:
(a) authorise the use of any force against persons and things that is necessary and reasonable to do the things specified in the warrant; and
(b) if the warrant authorises entering premises--state whether entry is authorised to be made at any time of the day or night or during stated hours of the day or night.
Duration of warrant
(6) The warrant must specify the period during which it is to remain in force. The period must not be more than 6 months, although the Minister may revoke the warrant before the period has expired.
Issue of further warrants not prevented
(7) Subsection (6) does not prevent the issue of any further warrant.