australian federal police data breach Andrew Colvin

For the second time in less than a year, the Australian Federal Police has stuffed up handling its investigations into leaks to a journalist, and, for the second time, there has been absolutely no adverse ramifications for the agency.

As I report elsewhere in Crikey, AFP commissioner Andrew Colvin revealed on Friday that, during the course of an internal investigation into a leak from the AFP to the media earlier this year, an AFP officer accessed one week's worth of a journalist's call logs. It was just human error that the law wasn't followed and the AFP didn't first seek to get a warrant to access that data. No ill will was meant by it. No action had been taken against the officer involved. While the data had been destroyed, Colvin admitted that it would not be possible for the investigator to "unsee" the metadata, meaning the source to the journalist might have been identified and could potentially face prosecution on the basis of this illegally obtained evidence.