The Australian Federal Police applied for 573 telecom interception warrants during the 2009 financial year, with the average surveillance period being 84 days, according to information requested by the Greens.
Greens senator Scott Ludlam used an estimates hearing to request information on the size and scope of surveillance operations.
The questioning also revealed that under the law, wiretapping can only be obtained during the investigation of “serious offenses,” and that the information may be shared with other agencies.
No investigation has so far had to be abandoned because it reached the six month time limit on controlled operations, he added.
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