Ministers Want New Level of Digital Bureaucracy

  • Establishment of computer response team
  • 34 recommendations tabled by committee
  • More co-ordinated effort needed

Attorney-General, Robert McClelland and the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator Stephen Conroy, today tabled the Australian Government’s response to the report of the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Communications, Hackers, Fraudsters and Botnets: Tackling the Problem of Cyber Crime.

The Committee’s report contains 34 recommendations on a more coordinated and strategic approach to cyber crime and related issues including cyber security, consumer protection and privacy.

“The internet is now an integral part of Australians’ everyday lives. The digital economy is essential to Australia's productivity, global competitive standing and social well-being. While the internet offers many benefits, there are also a range of safety and security risks associated with its use,” Senator Conroy said.

“The constantly evolving nature of cyber crime will continue to require smart and innovative responses from government,” McClelland said. “The Government’s response to the report recognises that governments, industry and individuals all have a role in taking action to mitigate online risks.”

The Australian Government has already taken steps to address cyber crime and related risks, including:

  • establishing a new national computer emergency response team, Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT), to improve cooperation with the private sector on cyber security issues,
  • establishing a Cyber Policy Coordinator within the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet,
  • working with State and Territory governments to ensure a nationally coordinated response to cyber crime, including consideration of a national online reporting portal,
  • partnering with industry, community and consumer groups to undertake year-round cyber security awareness raising initiatives, and
  • working with the Internet Industry Association to develop a voluntary ISP Code. The ISP Code, which will be implemented in December 2010, provides a consistent approach for ISPs to help inform, educate and protect their customers in relation to cyber security issues.

Minister for Home Affairs and Justice, Brendan O’Connor, said the Australian Federal Police is also engaged in fighting cyber crime through their High Tech Crime Operations Portfolio and community education programs such as the highly-successful ThinkUKnow program.

“The internet is not a benign playground and that’s why we’re working hard to prevent and disrupt online crime in close co-operation with the community,” said O’Connor.

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