2 Ministers announce ‘e-security’ moves

The Attorney General and the Communications Minister have announed new ‘e-security’ initiatives, after a major review in 2008. Increasingly the government is signalling that ‘international partnerships’ will decide Australia’s online standards, in a way Minister Conroy and the government are yet to explain.

Govt moves to beef up online security

Attorney-General Robert McClelland and Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator Stephen Conroy, have announced the first outcomes from an ‘E-Security Review’ done in 2008.

“The Prime Minister’s National Security Statement recognised that e-security is one of the Government’s top national security priorities. New online threats are emerging and it’s imperative that we take steps now to protect critical e-infrastructure,” Mr McClelland said.

He said the review made a number of recommendations, including:

  • The development of closer relationships between the Commonwealth and the private sector in the area of e-security;
  • Improved engagement with Internet service providers (ISPs) to help create a “security culture” amongst Australian Internet users; and
  • Building international partnerships on e-security to promote awareness, marshal expertise, and eliminate safe havens for cyber criminals.

The Australian Government Computer Emergency Readiness Team (GovCERT.au) will establish trusted information exchanges with the private secto, the joint media release said, “to enable the Commonwealth and business community to share unique detailed technical information, thereby building a greater understanding of the online environment and its threats. The exchanges will cover the banking and finance sector, the telecommunications industry, and water and power utilities.”

The Australian Communications and Media Authority, in conjunction with the Department for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, will also work with ISPs to develop a code of practice for e-security

“Increasingly sophisticated Internet-based attacks can leave small businesses and individuals vulnerable to online fraud, identity theft and loss of privacy. ISPs are uniquely placed to help inform, educate and protect their subscribers,” Senator Conroy said.

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