In the same year the government forced telecommunications companies to store Australians' data for two years, a record number of agencies accessed the data already available.

The Attorney-General's Department's annual report, which lists the number of authorisations granted to allow agencies to access data -- such as call records, assigned IP addresses, location information and billing information -- was released today. Curiously, it is much earlier than the previous year's report, which was only tabled in June this year. The department claimed that report wasn't delayed, but it just happened to coincide with the controversial debate over mandatory data retention legislation, which passed earlier this year.