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Joint statement by US Attorney-General Merrick B. Garland and Australia Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus

The Hon Mark Dreyfus KC MP
Media Release

Today, the United States and Australia have brought into force the landmark Agreement on Access to Electronic Data for the Purpose of Countering Serious Crime. The Agreement will transform and enhance international cooperation in addressing serious crimes, including terrorism and child sexual abuse. The Agreement will complement the existing close relationships between the United States and Australia across law enforcement, contributing to the safety and security of both nations.

The Agreement will allow US and Australian authorities to obtain more timely access to electronic data held by service providers in the partner nation. Obtaining this information will help US and Australian agencies prevent, detect, investigate, and prosecute serious crime and safeguard our national security.

Importantly, the Agreement also provides safeguards and protections that reflect the commitment of both countries to human rights, civil liberties, and the rule of law. These include stringent privacy and oversight protections to ensure any data collected meets the Agreement’s robust requirements.

Signed between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of Australia, on 15 December 2021, the Agreement is supported by each Party’s domestic legislative frameworks – the United States’ Clarifying Lawful Overseas Use of Data (CLOUD) Act and Australia’s Schedule 1 of the Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Act 1979 (Cth).