Feeds

Oz opposition says to stop hackers first stop refugee boats

Australian opposition says to stop hackers first stop refugee boats

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Australia's federal opposition has pledged more money for the nation's security agencies, and more online activity, and tied the latter increase to freeing up resources currently going towards dealing with “irregular maritime arrivals”.

Speaking yesterday at CeBIT Australia, Senator George Brandis said he is alarmed by the release of a report titled “Review of Administration and Expenditure No. 10 (2010 - 2011) - Australian Intelligence Agencies”, created by the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security. Released on Monday May 27th, Brandis says that report (PDF) outlines degradation of the capacity of Australia's security services. The report includes a comment from the Australian Security and Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) to the effect that it does not feel it can find the staff it needs without extra funds. Another un-named agency says it could not have achieved its goals without an extra injection of funding.

Brandis, who serves as Shadow Attorney-General, said an important pressure on ASIO is the extra work it has been asked to do on irregular maritime arrivals, bureacaratese for refugees who arrive in Australia on boats.

Such refugees are political dynamite in Australia, which is deemed by the opposition to have “lost control of its borders” inasmuch as around 25,000 arrived by boat last year. More “irregular” arrivals come by plane and Australia processes tens of millions of arrivals and departures each year. The “lost control” line is therefore not accurate but it is extraordinarily resonant in Australian politics, with the opposition pledging to “stop the boats” when next in office (which looks like being September 2013).

Making the ability to defend against an emerging threat – online attack – contingent on first dealing with the issue of asylum seekers arriving by boat therefore paints the government as failing on the first issue and negligently ignoring an emergent second threat.

In light of Monday's allegation that plans to ASIO's new office found their way to an entity traced to a Chinese IP address, the line that Australia lacks resources to defend itself online another potent weapon with which the opposition can attack the government.

Brandis said that, if elected, the opposition will restore funding to Australia's spooks so they can build and operate better online defences.

The ultimate aim, he said, is to ensure Australia can defend itself against terrorism in all its forms, especially newfangled terrorism performed by state-sponsored entities that attack infrastructure. ®

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

More from The Register

next story
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
UK Parliament rubber-stamps EMERGENCY data grab 'n' keep bill
Just 49 MPs oppose Drip's rushed timetable
MPs wave through Blighty's 'EMERGENCY' surveillance laws
Only 49 politcos voted against DRIP bill
EU's top data cops to meet Google, Microsoft et al over 'right to be forgotten'
Plan to hammer out 'coherent' guidelines. Good luck chaps!
US judge: YES, cops or feds so can slurp an ENTIRE Gmail account
Crooks don't have folders labelled 'drug records', opines NY beak
Delaware pair nabbed for getting saucy atop Mexican eatery
Burrito meets soft taco in alleged rooftop romp outrage
LightSquared backer sues FCC over spectrum shindy
Why, we might as well have been buying AIR
'Two-speed internet' storm turns FCC.gov into zero-speed website
Deadline for comments on net neutrality shake-up extended to Friday
prev story

Whitepapers

Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
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.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.