AFP search of journalist’s home illegal

Original article by Michael Pelly, Andrew Tillett
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 10 : 16-Apr-20

Australian Federal Police commissioner Reece Kershaw says News Corp journalist Annika Smethurst could still face criminal charges despite a landmark High Court ruling on the legal validity of a search warrant. The court has unanimously ruled that the warrant used to search her home in June 2019 was invalid as it was too imprecise and "impossibly wide". However, the court narrowly rejected an application for an injunction requiring the AFP to return or destroy data that it seized in the raid.

CORPORATES
NEWS CORP AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, HIGH COURT OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIAN FEDERAL POLICE

High Court to rule on warrant AFP used to raid journalist Annika Smethurst’s Canberra home

Original article by Elizabeth Byrne, Matthew Doran
abc.net.au – Page: Online : 15-Apr-20

The issue of press freedom will come under scrutiny again on 15 April, when the High Court decides on the validity of a search warrant used in a media raid in June 2019. News Corp journalist Annika Smethurst has challenged the legal validity of the search warrant issued to Australian Federal Police officers who raided her home in Canberra. Her lawyers have argued amongst other things that the law under which the warrant was issued was invalid because it breached the implied constitutional right to freedom of political communication. The ABC has unsuccessfully challenged the search warrant used in a separate raid on its Sydney premises.

CORPORATES
HIGH COURT OF AUSTRALIA, NEWS CORP AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, AUSTRALIAN FEDERAL POLICE, AUSTRALIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION

Reporters’ data targeted

Original article by Tamsin Rose
Herald Sun – Page: 8 : 6-Feb-20

A Department of Home Affairs report shows that Australian Federal Police officers were granted six warrants to access the telephone data of journalists during 2018-19. This is three times more than in the previous financial year. The warrants also allowed the AFP to access 20 historical data sets containing information about the journalists’ calls, texts and emails. Government agencies were also issued with 3,561 interception warrants in 2018-19. The AFP came under scrutiny in 2019 over a series of media raids.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF HOME AFFAIRS, AUSTRALIAN FEDERAL POLICE

AFP raid on journo’s home trespass

Original article by Olivia Caisley
The Australian – Page: 7 : 13-Nov-19

The High Court has been told that a warrant to search a News Corp Australia journalist’s home was invalid as it did not state the exact nature of her alleged offence. The lawyer representing Annika Smethurst also alleged that the Australian Federal Police’s search warrant infringed the implied freedom of political communication. Stephen Lloyd SC said the AFP should be either forced to delete any files it had extracted from Smethurst’s mobile phone during the raid in June, or be subject to a court order preventing any use of those files.

CORPORATES
NEWS CORP AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, NEWS CORPORATION – ASX NWS, NATIONWIDE NEWS PTY LTD, AUSTRALIAN FEDERAL POLICE, HIGH COURT OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIAN SIGNALS DIRECTORATE

Home Affairs fights to restrict media

Original article by Mark Schliebs
The Australian – Page: 6 : 7-Aug-19

The Department of Home Affairs has used its submission to a parliamentary inquiry into press freedom to argue that the existing rules governing police search warrants are adequate. The Right to Know Coalition recently told the inquiry that the media industry should have the right to challenge warrants that are used to gather evidence against journalists. Home Affairs has contended that there is the potential for material evidence to be destroyed if there is advance notice that a warrant is to be issued. The ABC has rejected this suggestion, arguing that the destruction of ­evidence is a criminal offence under existing laws.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF HOME AFFAIRS, AUSTRALIA. PARLIAMENTARY JOINT COMMITTEE ON INTELLIGENCE AND SECURITY, AUSTRALIA’S RIGHT TO KNOW COALITION OF MEDIA COMPANIES, AUSTRALIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION, NEWS CORP AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, NEWS CORPORATION – ASX NWS, AUSTRALIAN FEDERAL POLICE, NINE ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX NEC

Media coalition seeks right to fight warrants

Original article by Leo Shanahan
The Weekend Australian – Page: 8 : 3-Aug-19

The Right to Know Coalition has used its submission to a parliamentary inquiry into freedom of the press to call for changes to the rules governing the issuance of police warrants. The coalition, which comprises 14 media companies and organisations, argued amongst other things that the media industry should have the right to challenge warrants that are used to gather evidence against journalists, and that all such applications should be put to an independent judge in open court. The inquiry was commissioned in response to the recent media raids.

CORPORATES
RIGHT TO KNOW COALITION, NEWS CORP AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, NEWS CORPORATION – ASX NWS, NINE ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX NEC, AUSTRALIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION, AUSTRALIAN FEDERAL POLICE, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF HOME AFFAIRS

Raids over Shorten donations

Original article by Brad Norington, Ewin Hannan, Simone Fox Koob
The Australian – Page: 1 & 6 : 25-Oct-17

Australian Workers’ Union offices in Sydney and Melbourne have been the subject of simultaneous police raids. Australian Federal Police officers executed warrants issued to the Registered Organisations Commission as part of its investigation into donations the union made when Opposition Leader Bill Shorten was the head of the AWU. Police are believed to have seized documents relating to the 2006 and 2008 financial years, including the minutes of AWU meetings. The raids are said to have been prompted by concerns that the documents could be destroyed. The AWU intends to challenge the validity of the warrants in court.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN WORKERS’ UNION-FEDERATION OF INDUSTRIAL, MANUFACTURING AND ENGINEERING EMPLOYEES, AUSTRALIAN FEDERAL POLICE, AUSTRALIA. REGISTERED ORGANISATIONS COMMISSION, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, GETUP LIMITED, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF EMPLOYMENT, ARNOLD BLOCH LEIBLER, ACTU

ASIC’s fresh bid to access telco intercepts

Original article by Annabel Hepworth
The Australian – Page: 17 : 27-Oct-14

The Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) is urging the Government to grant it greater powers in the areas of search warrants and access to telecommunications data. The watchdog argues that traditional telephone intercepts are decreasing in importance due to the rise of online social media and the national broadband network roll-out. It also says it current search warrant procedures are not "entirely satisfactory" as enshrined in the ASIC Act and the Crimes Act. ASIC’s demands are being criticised by the Institute of Public Affairs

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN SECURITIES AND INVESTMENTS COMMISSION, INSTITUTE OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS LIMITED, NBN CO LIMITED, AUSTRALIAN FEDERAL POLICE, SKYPE TECHNOLOGIES SA, FACEBOOK INCORPORATED, AUSTRALIAN INSTITUTE OF COMPANY DIRECTORS, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, LIBERAL PARTY OF AUSTRALIA