Feeds

Australia toughens cybercrime laws

Conventional thinking

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

Australian carriers and ISPs will be forced to retain customer’s private data such as email and text messages by police and authorities, without a warrant, if it is required for investigations into cybercrime.

The requirements are part of legislation introduced to strengthen cyber security laws and enhance Australia’s ability to combat international cybercrime.

Attorney General Robert McClelland said the new laws will preserve private data, which today is typically held briefly.

In contrast with previous proposals, which would have required the industry to preserve all customer data, the new legislation proposes preservation requests. These will give law enforcement time to seek a warrant, according to McClelland/

"In other words it prevents the information evaporating over the electronic ether," he said.

This year Australia's Senate criticised earlier data-retention proposals, saying the government needed to justify the collection and retention of personal data.

The Government’s Cybercrime Legislation Amendment Bill 2011 brings Australia in line with the Council of Europe Convention on Cybercrime, the only binding international treaty on cybercrime.

The Convention provides systems to facilitate international co-operation and investigations between participating countries including: empowering authorities to request the preservation of specific communications (sans warrant); allowing authorities from one country to collect data in another country; establishing a 24/7 network to provide immediate help to investigators; and facilitating the exchange of information between countries.

More than 40 countries have either signed or become a party to the Convention, including the US, UK, Canada, Japan and South Africa.

McClelland said that in the last six months , Australia’s Computer Emergency Response Team has alerted Australian business to more than a quarter of a million pieces of stolen information such as passwords and account details.

“While Australian law substantially complies with the obligations in the Convention, the Government believes there is more we can do to ensure Australia is in the best position to tackle cyber threats that confront us, both domestically and internationally,” he said.

Brendan O’Connor, Minister for Home Affairs and Justice, said the Convention covers crimes committed via the internet and other computer networks, dealing particularly with computer-related fraud, child pornography and violations of network security.

“Consistent with the Convention, the Government’s Bill establishes procedures to make investigations more efficient and provide systems to facilitate international co-operation,” he said. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
14 antivirus apps found to have security problems
Vendors just don't care, says researcher, after finding basic boo-boos in security software
'Things' on the Internet-of-things have 25 vulnerabilities apiece
Leaking sprinklers, overheated thermostats and picked locks all online
Only '3% of web servers in top corps' fully fixed after Heartbleed snafu
Just slapping a patched OpenSSL on a machine ain't going to cut it, we're told
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
Israel's Iron Dome missile tech stolen by Chinese hackers
Corporate raiders Comment Crew fingered for attacks
Roll out the welcome mat to hackers and crackers
Security chap pens guide to bug bounty programs that won't fail like Yahoo!'s
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
Researcher sat on critical IE bugs for THREE YEARS
VUPEN waited for Pwn2Own cash while IE's sandbox leaked
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.