australian federal police data breach Andrew Colvin

An Australian Federal Police Officer who snooped on the call records of a journalist to chase a leak did not even know he or she was supposed to secure a warrant.

In late April, AFP Commissioner Andrew Colvin revealed that an officer had accessed a journalist's call records for a week as part of an investigation by the AFP into a leak of operational information to that particular, as yet unnamed, journalist. This was in breach of the law around mandatory data retention passed in 2015, which specifically requires Commonwealth officers to first obtain a so-called journalist information warrant when accessing the metadata of a journalist for the purpose of chasing a leak to that journalist. At the time, Colvin said it was "human error" and no ill will was involved. He didn't go into much detail -- constrained by the mandatory data retention legislation about what he could say about the case.