Experts in the security sector expect the introduction of the Australian Government’s Cybercrime Legislation to strengthen local cyber security laws and enhance Australia’s ability to combat domestic and international cybercrime.
The Government’s Cybercrime Legislation Amendment Bill 2011 will set a framework to enable Australia’s accession to the Council of Europe Convention for greater access to information stored overseas, request carriers and ISPs to retain customer data, and extend the scope of existing Commonwealth computer offences.
The legislation calls for a concerted global effort by key stakeholders in the industry to reduce the impact of online crime, and numerous Australian businesses such as security vendor, AVG (AU/NZ), are showing their support behind it.
“The Government’s timely initiative will be a great influence on the awareness levels and changes to personal and business attitudes required in Australia regarding cyber security,” AVG (AU/NZ) security evangelist, Lloyd Borrett, said.
AVG hopes that the initiative will help protect Australian businesses from having their information stolen and further educate the public on the dangers and prevalence of viruses, Trojans, identity theft and scams.
“It’s fantastic that Australian law enforcement agencies will soon be able to take their place as a significant contributor towards these vital global efforts,” Borrett said.
“We commend Attorney General Robert McClelland for taking action and devising this Legislation to help keep this country secure from online dangers.”
McClelland has often spoken about the need for cyber protection, and following the Cybercrime Legislation, the Attorney General now wants to see a Federal Government white paper drafted on cyber security.
Security vendor, McAfee, is also a strong supporter of the Cybercrime Legislation, with its chief cyber security analyst and global cybercrime strategist, Pamela Warren, making a supporting submission in March for Australia joining the Council of Europe Convention on Cybercrime.
“This is an important first step toward getting a consistent approach across international borders to the challenges of cybercrime,” McAfee head of public policy and government affairs, David Sykes, said.
“It is not the winning blow in our battle against the bad guys, but it lays the foundations for the cooperation that will be needed.”
While McAfee VP and CTO, Michael Sentonas, thinks any law that can limit and prevent the loss or misuse of data is important to all Australians, he points out that this alone will not stop cybercrime and better cooperation across the globe is much needed.
“The criminalization of any illegal activities on the Internet with better information sharing between public and private enterprise, as well as governments around the world, is extremely important,” Sentonas said.
“Equally as important is striking the right balance between privacy and infringement upon civil liberties when considering implementing laws that seek to grant power to monitor a person’s activities in real time.”