07 Mar 2014
By Kate Hughes

Telstra launches Transparency Report


Today, we are pleased to launch our first Transparency Report.

Telstra’s Transparency Report is the first of its kind in Australia. The aim of the report is to give our customers more information about our legal obligations as a telecommunications carrier.

We are bound by Australian privacy law which protects the personal information of our customers. We are also required, like all telecommunications companies that provide services in Australia, to assist Australian national security and law enforcement agencies. This assistance may involve disclosing customer information.

This assistance is provided for specific reasons, such as enforcing criminal law, protecting public revenue and safeguarding national security. We also provide assistance to emergency services agencies in response to life threatening situations.

Our Transparency Report covers the six months up to 31 December 2013. During this time we received approximately 40,000 requests for customer information from Australian agencies. The requests came from law enforcement, emergency services and regulatory agencies. This figure does not include national security related requests.

We only disclose customer information in accordance with the law. We assess any request for information we receive from government agencies to make sure it complies with the law.

As digital technologies continue to evolve, community discussion around issues of law enforcement and national security are likely to continue. We hope our report makes a meaningful contribution to these discussions.


Posts: 4


  1. FAWN RYAN says:

    so comments on religion are not a crime as yet ,are they?or comments on preferred recreation ?..or comments on political parties and certain countries?..or comments on world power games?….or are they?…will we be classified by these disagreements as dissidents? and will that one day be a crime…..or do we truly still have freedom of thought and speech without qualification and punishment in Australia?…Just a few questions….because otherwise I got nothing to hide…and obviously we have all been watched anyway….

  2. travis says:

    Does not state how many were actually provided. Easy to say how many received but needing to know how many were approved. Also, considering you’re withholding request made national security firm kind of make this article false about transparency doesn’t it?

    If only Telstra was more proactive and took a stance rather than a back seat approach we wouldn’t have such a skewed view in the public eye as indicated via client surveys.

  3. Jason Robinson says:

    Dear Telstra/Bigpond, thank you for a long last the provision of this document.

    Can you please put up access request form/hyperlink to which consumers may access for their own accounts.

    Things I or some Government authority or legal representative after my lawful request to them would like access to include:
    -ALL Telephone number used to access ISP/account
    -Type of ISP/account accessed
    -Time and dates access was achieved
    -IP address provided by ISP/account
    -ALL legislative acts which cover use of such information

    I understand all internet metadata since 911 has been harvested and is required to be kept for a period of time by Telstra, its partners at Bigpond (I think that was once owned by Online Australia), and others like Australian national security and law enforcement agencies. I feel there should be no issue in Telstra or some authority being able to provide the information as it was most likely also used for commercial reasons.

    I understand privacy concerns and most privacy laws however none of the information requested relates to privacy -- and for some people such information may be required to prove or disprove claims made within an OPEN COURT. Please append this notice to allow consumers or their legal representative to access the requested information. The name and address of authority at Telstra or others for which such actions for information requests may be commenced should be appended to this document (even if it directs consumers to apply at local court/federal court/Government authorities -- any information would be of aid).

    • Hello again Jason, As is detailed in the Q&A section of our Transparency Report, the relevant legislation in this area prohibits us from providing details of specific requests made by individual agencies. I can confirm we do not undertake mass surveillance of our customers on behalf of the Government. The report also includes where you can go for more information, including the Attorney-General’s Department and the Department of Communications. Thanks, Jamie.

      • Jason Robinson says:

        Hello again Jamie, thanks for your time and reply.


        We can’t comment on individual legal requests we may receive from law enforcement agencies. For more information head over and read our Transparency Report:

        After revisiting this page and re-inspecting it -- plus also hovering my mouse over the styled text of ‘Transparency Report’ the interface provides a Hyperlink event to ‘Transparency Report’.

        The above [1] and [2] links;

        May I suggest to Telstra that the hyperlink on the resolved URL [1] (this blog post which i thought was the report) is not accessible content. The hyperlink shows BOLD BLACK LETTERING -- while the page text is standard black lettering; Telsra should modify the link to the browser default linking scheme and not apply a scheme to obscure the link, or clearly mark it as a link; use of boxes or embedding the URL as link within text like bs:// could of helped.

        Plus I tend to use keyboard for navigation, not a mouse on that part of the page :-)

        The text of the page also obscures the intent of the non-URL-text link;
        “Today, we are pleased to launch our first Transparency Report.” …..
        I am not a big report reading person and simply assumed the link provided (this page) to me was the report and the above ‘title’ seemed to confirm just that (I am stupid).

        Next, I was only instructed to read which I did using the interface and the URL I was provided with. Had I been informed there was a PDF file to download/view by use of a plugin/other interface then I would of done just that (however I do not want this info).

        If I have this experience I now wonder how many others have done the same thing. Also is there a standard hypertext version for non-PDF users.

        I Never asked about ‘mass surveillance’ and would ask Telstra to please not process my requested in that manner -- please desist in use of the ‘mass surveillance’.

        I am asking Telstra for my account information and can see no issue with it being provided but I instead I was directed here via short hyperlink (as I just described above) and in part due to my lack of experience in making requests to Telstra for information perhaps the request was not direct or clear enough (see revised request below).

        I will contact the departments above departments as needed to seek the other documents and make further query (I have some documents but require copies of those which were submitted to public record in a court of law -- I can also get transcript of that information at cost while my account information is free, mine, and stored with Telstra for BILLING and other reasons like junk mail or other commercial aspects, etc).

        I would type the complete reason I require the account information but feel Telstra is not of blame and does not need to know (Telstra is just a small cog who was used by greater powers to which Telstra complied -- I will make note that Telstra did not question the request by authorities however provided myself with this -- I will also note that Telstra didn’t bother to provide me with a copy of the information for my defense in 2003 or offer to store/provide information for defense -- which is a requirement for legal docments/things taken -- it does not mean I may be able to view but I may apply to court where a judge can decide if it relates to the matter).

        I would like to know what information was not used because it proved my innocence of any charge (funny thing the AFP/DPP only used information to garner conviction -- the afp/dpp submitted to court in 2003 the criminal history for another Jason Robinson who also didn’t have my birth date -- the AFP/DPP entered into the court record false fact based on a date of birth which they acquired from the complainant whom I state mismanaged their own database which I can prove using other evidence other then birth date).

        The issue of conflict of interest may not apply as most IT services used by the Government departments/Agent/s are out-sourced or contracted though other providers.

        I have enough information to redundantly rebuild information requested but would like to also acquire valid official copies of my account.

        Again -- as per my request (I can see how someone may mistake my request as ‘mass surveillance’ and so have modified it), as follows;

        Things I or legal representative after my lawful request to them would like access to include:

        -ALL Telephone number used to access ISP/account
        -Type of ISP/account accessed
        -Time and dates access was achieved
        -IP address provided by ISP/account
        -ALL legislative acts which cover use of such information

        (1 maybe 2 months of information in 2001, and 1 weekend in 2003 of information).

      • Hi Jason,

        Thanks for your feedback regarding links. We are currently planning to refresh the blog, so will take that into consideration.

        Regarding your other requests, I’m afraid that the Transparency Report was published for the first time this year, so I can’t provide any details for 2003. Nor can we comment on individual cases.

        If you are having an issue with a law enforcement agency, you need to take it up with them directly.


  4. Jason Robinson says:

    lol yes I am sure people who took images of my underpants without a warrant will be happy to help (NOT), just like Telstra who would like me to ask the people they informed before the abuse occurred.

    I can assume Opening the new Telstra building with 1000 staff located in Canberra Civic matters more then someone like me -- and I am sure Telstra took that into account when providing information (I also notice Telsra in 2003 didn’t bother to point out their own system didn’t require valid passwords to send email).

    Dont bother to reply -- I will be happy to ask those who took images of my underpants for help

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