Privacy concerns raised by security experts in law reform process regarding cyber crimes

January 28, 2015 |

In Privacy fears in bid to bolster laws for fight against cyber crime the Australian highlights the Governments review of cyber crime legal framework.  Australia is undergoing the same process that the President of the United States has forshadowed.  The problem in Australia is that the existing privacy regulatory structure which interfaces with the any notification law that might arise has incomplete coverage, is quite vague and not actively regulated (to date).  In that environment privacy protections are quite problematical. It is interesting to see the Australian taking up the cudgels on this point given it is generally very wary of privacy law reform.

The article provides:

LAW reform to keep pace with the growing threat to national security must strike a balance with privacy concerns, cyber law experts have warned.

As the government reviews its cyber-security strategy for the first time in six years, ­the Attorney-General’s Department is understood to be considering legislative changes to match the global surge in cyber crime.

As revealed in The Australian yesterday, 500 cybercrimes are being referred every week to a new government reporting network, with more than 3000 being investigated in the past two months. Most of these are related to fraud.

The chief security officer of US-based Cisco Systems, John Stewart, who is one of the panel members reviewing Australia’s cyber strategy, has said law reform will be necessary following the review. Describing himself as a “privacy hawk”, he said there was a tension under the current legislative framework between consumer protection laws obliging businesses not to share information, and national security requirements that may require information sharing between business and government.

“It creates a conflict in terms of what business operations look like, versus what government operations want,” he said.

David Vaile, from University of NSW’s Cyberspace Law and Policy Community, told The Australian that the multifaceted cyber threat was difficult to combat through the legal framework.

He said he expected a push for new laws in Australia, but information-sharing laws would be a challenge for MPs, given Australia has “feeble protections” for privacy and personal information protection compared to those in the US.

“That is really the challenge for the lawmakers,’’ he said. “There’s a way of thinking about this that doesn’t recognise that government and over-opportunistic business can be part of the problem and doesn’t rate highly enough the questions of confidentiality and privacy.”

 

One Response to “Privacy concerns raised by security experts in law reform process regarding cyber crimes”

  1. Privacy concerns raised by security experts in law reform process regarding cyber crimes | Australian Law Blogs

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