Industry bodies are stepping away from Google as it gets investigated by the Australian Federal Police (AFP).
During a press conference to launch National Cyber Security Awareness Week in Melbourne on the weekend, Attorney-General, Robert McClelland, confirmed an AFP investigation was underway.
“They relate in substantial part to possible breaches of the Telecommunications Interception Act,” McClelland said. “My department doesn't prejudge these issues but it was thought there were issues of substance raised that required a police investigation.”
The Internet Industry Association (IIA), which lists Google as a member, earlier criticised the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator Stephen Conroy, for his attacks against the company on this issue.
But the IIA’s CEO, Peter Coroneos, said he did not want to support either side as it was a matter under police investigation.
“The member companies that are part of the association support its mission for a faster, safer, fairer and more trusted Internet in Australia,” he said. “By and large we don’t have shonky operations joining the IIA.
“That doesn’t mean from time to time things can’t happen either accidentally or otherwise. These are serious accusations… the company has attempted to explain how these circumstances arose and it’s a matter between them and the Federal Police.”
The Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) also has Google as a member. Its chairman, John Grant, said the organisation did not have a position on it.
Google admitted its data collection was a mistake and not a wilful act of snooping. The search giant said it was talking to appropriate authorities and would answer any of their questions.