The Federal Government has ignored the pleas of technology industry bodies and passed a bill that will enable it to take control of private infrastructure as a last resort in the event of a cyber attack.
In what is a snub to the technology industry at large, the Coalition Government has re-introduced the Security Legislation Amendment (Critical Infrastructure) Bill 2020 into parliament for a second reading, not long after three major tech industry bodies urged a significant revision of the bill before it is voted on.
Three technology industry bodies have urged the Federal Government to significantly revise the Security Legislation Amendment (Critical Infrastructure) Bill 2020 before it is voted on, as it would otherwise "create an unworkable set of obligations and set a troubling global precedent".
A joint parliamentary committee has proposed that an amendment to the laws governing critical infrastructure be split up into two, in order to pass what it says are "urgent reforms".
The Law Council of Australia, the body that represents the country's legal profession, has urged the Federal Government to provide enough time for Parliament to scrutinise the new online surveillance bill that was introduced on Thursday.
The lobby group representing the telecommunications industry has called on the government to accept recommendations made by the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security and repeal two sections of a law which have allowed numerous state agencies to gain access to Australians' telecommunications metadata.
One of Australia's main newspapers, the Sydney Morning Herald, believes that technology companies can open "very small" encryption backdoors to enable government agencies to snoop on encrypted communications.
The Australian Federal Police has told the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security that it has used technical assistance requests issued under the encryption law passed in December 2018 on three occasions in the financial year 2019-20, to obtain assistance from companies or individuals in breaking encryption to gain access to information needed for investigation of crimes.
The Independent National Security Legislation Monitor, Dr James Renwick, says in a 316-page review handed down on 30 June that, with a couple of exceptions, the encryption law, known as the Telecommunications and Other Legislation Amendment (Assistance and Access) Bill 2018, passed by Australia in December 2018, is necessary.
The Independent National Security Legislation Monitor, Dr James Renwick, is likely to have suggested some changes to the encryption law passed by the government in 2018, in his review which was handed down on Monday.
The government's Independent National Security Legislation Monitor, Dr James Renwick, has indicated he would support the security appeals division of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal having oversight of technical capability notices issued under the encryption law passed in 2018, and resolving any issue that could arise.
There was a time during John Howard's 11 years as prime minister when Australia was often contemptuously referred to as the deputy sheriff for the US in the Asia-Pacific region.
A parliamentary panel, that is reviewing the mandatory data retention laws introduced in 2017, has been told that the legislation goes too far and should be scaled back.
The bipartisan Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security has rejected both an identity-matching bill and a passports amendment bill in their current form.
It's beginning to look like the tech industry has finally cottoned on to the fact that the Federal Government's repeated reviews of the encryption laws that were rushed through Parliament last year are just an eyewash.
The Federal Government's encryption law in its current form will have a negative impact on the country's ICT industry and block practitioners from innovating and exporting the products of their innovation, the Australian Information Industry Association claims.
ASD-certified Protected cloud provider Vault claims the export of its technology has been affected by perceptions about the encryption law which was passed by the Australian Parliament on 6 December last year.
The head of the Australian Information Industry Association, Ron Gauci, has sought an assurance from the re-elected Coalition Government that amendments to the encryption law, which was passed in December, will be adopted within its first 100 days of operation.
Australians may not have learnt much from the on-again, off-again election campaign that began on 11 April, but one thing has been made abundantly clear: the technology sector in this country is made up of wimps who are afraid to make anything, even an encryption law which they claim could destroy their industry, into an election issue.
Communications Alliance chairman John Stanton says the fact that the latest report from the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security on the encryption law contains more than 100 pages about issues and problems that stakeholders have identified with the legislation was troubling.
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