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Support for law enforcement and security agencies

Carriers and carriage service providers (CSPs) must help law enforcement and national security agencies.

The rules for intercepting communications

The Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Act 1979 sets out the rules you must follow to let agencies intercept communications. The Department of Home Affairs administers this Act.

All carriers and CSPs nominated by the Minister for Home Affairs need to submit an Interception Capability Plan. This tells the department how you will help agencies lawfully intercept communications.

Unless the DHA has confirmed you are exempt, you must follow these rules.

Support you must give agencies

Under part 14 of the Telecommunications Act 1997, carriers and CSPs must:

  • do your best to prevent your networks and facilities from being used to commit offences
  • help agencies to carry out their duties
  • suspend a service at the request of a senior police officer in an emergency

Check identity for prepaid mobile services

You must verify a customer's identity before you activate a prepaid mobile phone service. You can do this when the customer buys the service or when they try to activate it. The Determination on identity checks for prepaid mobiles lists the ways you can check a customer's identity.

This is intended to prevent people from using prepaid services anonymously. It is a service provider rule under section 99 of the Telecommunications Act 1997.

The ACMA has developed a guidance note that outlines our approach to assessing compliance with the obligations on carriage service providers to:

  1. obtain customer information before activating a prepaid mobile carriage service
  2. verify the identity of a service activator when using the Real-time Financial Transaction method.
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