Brandis rejects concerns on data retention bill

ATTORNEY-GENERAL George Brandis has hit out at concerns about the effects of the government's data retention bill on the media as an unnecessary "red herring".

Senator Brandis told Sky News on Tuesday the concerns raised by media companies and the journalists' union about the legislation were a "red herring".

His comments came after Prime Minister Tony Abbott agreed to a last-minute Labor proposal for intelligence agencies to obtain a warrant to access reporters' metadata. While the government says it plans to ensure warrants are inc-luded in the laws, it has not gone far enough for the media industry, civil rights advocates or the Greens.

They have argued for a blanket exemption.

Sen Brandis described the proposed change as a "limited exemption", but said the government did not believe it was necessary and was only doing it "to satisfy those who have raised concerns".

Greens Senator Scott Ludlam is pushing for more changes and Labor is yet to reveal its final position on the laws before an expected vote this week.


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