The Attorney-General’s Department began pushing for a two-year data retention regime virtually the moment the Rudd government was elected, newly obtained documents reveal, and the Department’s secretary appears to have misled a Senate committee about his own role in the development of the plan.

Heavily redacted documents obtained by Crikey under freedom of information laws provide further detail of AGD's strategy to convince the new government to implement a two-year data retention scheme, with the support of a wide range of agencies. Under AGD's proposal, telecommunications companies and ISPs would have been forced to retain all data about Australians' telecommunications and internet usage other than content and browsing history. The Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security earlier this year declined to recommend a data retention scheme after being asked to consider it along with a number of other national security reform proposals by former attorney-general Nicola Roxon.