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Lawful access to telecommunications

Assistance and Access: Administrative guidance and other resources

The Assistance and Access Act introduces a framework for government agencies and the communications and technology industry to work together on law enforcement and national security investigations. This framework now exists in Part 15 of the Telecommunications Act 1997.

To support this cooperation, we have developed the Administrative Guidance for agency engagement with designated communications providers. This ensures agencies and industry have a clear understanding of their rights, obligations and expectations under the industry assistance framework.

The Guidance covers:

  • a step-by-step breakdown of the process and requirements for the Technical Assistance Requests, Technical Assistance Notices and Technical Capability Notices
  • engagement between agencies and providers
  • considerations for cost assessments
  • information sharing and disclosures
  • disagreement, compliance and enforcement
  • oversight arrangements, transparency and independent scrutiny

In preparing this Administrative Guidance we engaged with relevant Commonwealth, State and Territory agencies, oversight bodies, and a range of industry organisations and bodies.

We will continue to revisit and update the Guidance with feedback from agencies and industry.

Other resources

We have developed factsheets to help businesses understand the industry assistance framework and how it may apply to them.

  • The factsheet for industry and factsheet for investors clarify the application of the Act, why it is needed, what it does, whether it affects business interests, and outlines transparency and accountability requirements.
  • The frequently asked questions factsheet clarifies the scope and purpose of the Act, obligations for providers, compliance requirements, enforcement and review arrangements, and safeguards and limitations.
  • Scenarios factsheet describe fictitious practical examples of the operation of the Act.