Documents obtained under freedom of information reveal the Attorney-General's Department was further advanced in its preparations for a data retention régime than previously disclosed, and had a wider concept of the data to be retained than eventually accepted by the government.

Data retention is one of 44 national security reform proposals currently under consideration by the Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security. The definition of the data to be retained under the proposal has been a vexed one for both the department, which came under fire from the committee for the poor quality of the paper outlining the reform proposals, and former attorney-general Nicola Roxon. She was forced to clarify that the proposal related to limited "traffic data" rather than any data that would reveal sites visited by individuals.