The Federal Government has refused to turn over any documents regarding its plans for a data retention scheme, rejecting in entirety a Freedom of Information request from Greens Senator Scott Ludlam.
Senator Ludlam requested "letters, emails, file notes, records of phone conversations or meetings, memos or reports about the drafting of legislation or regulations on data retention between the Attorney General's Department and the Office of Parliamentary Counsel". It was denied in full this afternoon.
Senator Ludlam said the rejection was the latest incident in a pattern of secrecy.
"This is the worst of a series of obfuscations, denials and outright falsehoods the Government has issued on data retention. On July 5 the Government admitted it had given false answers to a Senate Estimates hearing when asked if any legislation had been drafted for a data retention scheme, and now this.
"Today and on July 5, the Government timed its move for late on a Friday afternoon - which seems calibrated to minimise exposure.
"The Government has also misrepresented the extent to which it consulted with the telecommunications industry on the data retention proposal.
"The Government argues that every document covered by the FOI request is subject to legal privilege.
"Enough is a enough - the Australian people have a right to know the extent to which their Government has pursued a scheme for universal round-the-clock monitoring of our communications."