The majority voted in favour of a motion that schedule 3 stand as printed. This means that the majority agree with the schedule and want it to remain unchanged. This motion was put in response to an Australian Democrats amendment to oppose the amended schedule, which was introduced by Senator Natasha Stott Despoja.
Schedule 3 relates to equipment based interception. Its purpose is "to enable interception agencies to intercept communications to and from identified devices such as mobile handsets and computer terminals".(Read more about B-party interceptions in the bills digest. ) For example, this schedule would allow an authority to intercept all communications made through a particular mobile handset rather than having to speak permission to intercept communications through each new SIM card used in that mobile handset.
When explaining her opposition to this schedule, Senator Stott Despoja quoted a submission from Electronic Frontiers Australia, which said: "This proposal appears to have an inappropriately and unjustifiably high potential to result in interception of communications of persons who are not suspects (i.e. are not named in the warrant) because, among other things, the types of device numbers proposed to be used do not necessarily uniquely identify a particular device."(Read Senator Stott Despoja whole contribution here. )
Background to the bill
The bill was introduced to implement some of the recommendations of the Review of the Regulation of Access to Communications (known as the Blunn Report) in order to, among other things, create a warrant regime to allow access to stored communications held by a telecommunications carrier and enable the interception of communications of a person known to communicate with the person of interest.(Read more about the bill in its bills digest.)