funded not-for-profit tasked with growing the Australian cyber security sector
– AustCyber – says it will work with businesses of all sizes to ensure the
encryption bill is implemented “in a way that minimises the economic impact” upon
of that work it will issue a communications toolkit to help firms convince their
customers, investors and supply chains about “the ongoing integrity and
sustainability of Australia’s sovereign cyber security capabilities”.
technology sector has been broadly critical of theTelecommunications and
Other Legislation Amendment (Assistance and Access) Bill 2018 which is intended
to help police and national security agencies intercept and access encrypted
as Senetasfounder Francis Galbally, have claimed the bill
will “profoundly undermine” the reputation of
Australian software and hardware manufacturers in international markets.
Others, like Australian
electronics manufacturer Extel, have warned of billions in lost export revenue
as a direct consequence of the legislation.
understand that some of our stakeholders are concerned about the impact of this
proposed legislation.AustCyber remains focused on ensuring that
Australia’s cyber security sector will continue to grow and deliver economic
and security benefits to the whole economy,” AustCyber said in a statement
and House of Representatives are expected to debate the bill later today.
AustCyber – formed in 2017 as part of the federal government’sIndustry
Growth CentresInitiative – said it had requested it be briefed
as soon as possible by “relevant
officers from the Department of Home Affairs” on the bill’s “details”.
Industry survey unheard
AustCyber expects to this week
release the results of a major survey of Australian cyber security firms,
carried out with the Australian Strategic Policy Institute. The survey was
issued to firms early last month canvassing their views on the bill and its
“We certainly heard there were
concerns, and we wanted to better understand what they were. We didn’t feel
like we had the views of our stakeholders in an evidence based way that we
could actually use to inform what we did next,” AustCyber strategy chief
Belinda Newham told CIO.
The organisation initially
hoped the survey results would inform debate on the bill. Each stage of the
bills consultation and introduction has been expedited; the government in
September introducing the bill into the House of
Representatives just 10 days after closing a public consultation on an exposure
Last month, Prime Minister Scott Morrison insisted the bill be
passed before Christmas, calling on the Parliamentary
Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security (PJCIS) to complete its scrutiny
of the bill “as quickly as possible”.
“The discussion was sped up a
bit. Obviously we still see an opportunity to help inform and guide discussions
going forward using [the survey results] as an evidence base. But yeah, we
would have liked to have provided that as part of it,” Newham said.
“We’re not trying to get into
the politics of the bill at all. It is what it is for us now, and we see that
as an opportunity to inform the ongoing advocacy and communication,” she added.
Newham would not comment on
whether or not the bill was a good thing for the local cyber security industry.
remains focused on ensuring that Australia’s cyber security sector will
continue to grow and deliver economic and security benefits to the whole
economy,” she added.