The Australian Security Intelligence Organisation — in what has been described as a rare public statement — has warned about foreign intelligence agencies who are using sites like LinkedIn and other social interaction spaces to groom and recruit Australians who have access to cutting-edge technology and sensitive information.
Australia has the best communications technology available for government and private entities to ensure that measures taken within the country are broadcast widely, especially if they could affect the security of its citizens overseas.
Former Independent senator Nick Xenophon has put the cat among the pigeons, pointing out that while Chinese vendor Huawei has been banned from supplying gear to the 5G networks, Telstra, which gets its 5G gear from a joint-venture arrangement between Ericsson and Panda Electronics, faces no such strictures.
Privacy is paramount but not total, because there is a balance between privacy and security, ASIO chief Mike Burgess claims, adding that "under the rule of law when appropriate warrants are in place, law enforcement or ASIO should be able to get access to something".
China-bashing has been a popular sport in the Australian media this year, with retired spooks and Australian politicians indulging themselves. The main game appears to be for the spooks to gain influence in determining foreign policy and get the government to allocate more funds for their operations.
The Australian Greens have asked Prime Minister Scott Morrison to provide data on the potential security threats that were identified and foiled over the Christmas break as a result of rushing the government's encryption law through Parliament.
All 17 amendments proposed to the Federal Government's encryption law, which was passed by Parliament on 6 December last year, have been implemented, the Department of Home Affairs says in a submission to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security.
The Australian Security Intelligence Organisation apparently still has some concerns about the encryption law that was passed by Parliament on 6 December, despite there being no changes to the draft that was discussed by the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Security and Intelligence.
An Australian software engineer, who works at a health tech start-up that uses encryption to protect patient data, has suggested several changes to the Federal Government's encryption legislation which was passed in December.
Australian law enforcement agencies have pushed for the encryption law which passed on 6 December because they don't know that there is no need for access to encrypted content in order to solve crimes, world-renowned security technologist Bruce Schneier says.
A rushed report from the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security has made 17 recommendations for amendments to the government's encryption bill which is expected to be pushed through Parliament on Thursday.
Rather predictably, the Australian Labor Party has signalled to the Federal Government that it will not stand in the way of the encryption bill being passed by Christmas, with the party doing everything but ending the process of inquiry so that the government can have its way.
A representative of the Department of Home Affairs claims that under the Federal Government'e encryption bill, companies cannot be asked to build in functionality into systems or devices to remove electronic protection.
The Federal Government will step up its bid to get its encryption bill passed in the last sitting fortnight of Parliament for the year, with Prime Minister Scott Morrison insisting that the new powers in the bill are needed to stop future terror attacks.
The Australian Government has been quick to deny a story that the Australian Signals Directorate is trying to extend its spying powers to Australian citizens.
Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei appears to be adopting a policy of saying nothing about its second rebuff by Australia, this time over an undersea cable between Honiara and Sydney.
Australia is reportedly putting pressure on the Solomon Islands to withdraw from the Project Honiara undersea cable project after the contract was awarded to Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei.
Australia’s security agencies now have the power to access any computer in Australia, for any reason. They don’t have to let you know why, or even if they are doing it at all.
The Government now says that the metadata it wants to access will not include an Internet user’s browsing history. But there is still confusion over just what it does include.
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