Tracy Watkins: SIS criticised by government watchdog over ‘unlawfully accessing’ information

The Security Intelligence Service has been rapped in a critical report for unlawfully accessing information obtained by Customs.

While the activity is historic, the domestic spy agency comes under fire from Inspector General of Intelligence and Security Cheryl Gwyn, not just over the way it accessed the material but for dragging its feet in responding to her inquiry.

Gwyn reveals discussions stemming back several years relating to information collected by customs and immigration under the Customs and Excise and Immigration acts.

Those discussions centred on whether there was a clear and properly regulated regime for  the SIS to access such information. A subsequent law change now provides this but Gwyn believes the agency unlawfully accessed customs data up until mid-2016.

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