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Major parties find concerns with cybercrime b -

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The Joint Select Committee on Cyber-Safety has called for better clarification of a bill allowing
for the holding and handing over of telecommunications data relating to online crime.


TONY JONES, PRESENTER: The major parties have found privacy, transparency and oversight concerns
with new legislation designed to fight international cybercrime.

The Cyber Crime Amendment Bill would allow for the holding and handing over of telecommunications
data relating to online crime.

In a majority report, the select committee on cyber safety has endorsed the legislation but called
for changes.

It wants better clarification and tightening of the legislation, including better safeguards for
dealing with countries which impose the death penalty.

Karen Barlow reports.

KAREN BARLOW, REPORTER: From exploiting children to scamming billions of dollars over the internet,
cybercrime is now well beyond nuisance computer hacks.

Law enforcement and intelligence agencies want more power and better international co-operation.

ROBERT MCCLELLAND, FEDERAL ATTORNEY-GENERAL: Cybercrime is now more lucrative than the
international drug trade.

KAREN BARLOW: The Cybercrime Amendment Bill would set Australia up to sign the only binding
international treaty on cyber crime, the Council of Europe Convention on Cybercrime.

ROBERT MCCLELLAND: Essentially it's the only game in town. It's really important that countries -
as many countries as possible sign up to it and implement laws.

KAREN BARLOW: The legislation will allow agencies such as ASIO and the AFP to order companies like
internet service providers to preserve electronic evidence until a warrant is obtained.

ALEX HAWKE, DEPUTY COMMITTEE CHAIR: The purpose of a preservation notice is to ensure that
potential evidence is not destroyed.

KAREN BARLOW: Such evidence could then be shared with other countries.

ALEX HAWKE: But again, there is no access to this material without a warrant and the AFP can only
apply for the warrant once the Attorney-General has agreed to a formal request for mutual
assistance from the foreign country.

KAREN BARLOW: After the bill was introduced two months ago, it was referred to the cyber safety
committee. Today it endorsed the bill, but recommended 13 changes and clarifications.

SCOTT LUDLAM, GREENS SENATOR: We were very pleased that the report, which all parties signed off on
this morning, says that the Government's got to have a rethink. They can't just introduce this bill
on Monday and expect a smooth debate.

KAREN BARLOW: The cyber safety committee says neither the convention nor the bill seeks to
implement a general data retention scheme. It also says it doesn't open the door to mass
surveillance of internet usage.

However, there are 13 recommendations addressing privacy, transparency and oversight concerns.

The majority report requests the legislation be clearer on the conditions for passing on
telecommunications data to other countries.

It also wants to forbid countries from using the data for a secondary purpose.

ROBERT MCCLELLAND: In terms of some tightening in respect to oversight, clarifying the balance
between privacy and utility of the material for law enforcement purposes, these things have been
suggested by sensible people and the Government will clearly have a look at those.

KAREN BARLOW: The Greens had additional concerns about co-operation with countries which impose the
death penalty. They say the bill could allow Australian agencies to support an overseas prosecution
which could then lead to an execution.

SCOTT LUDLAM: I think they're inadequate safeguards. This is one area where I think the committee's
let us down.

KAREN BARLOW: But the Attorney-General says that's covered by tighter federal police procedures and
other legislation.

ROBERT MCCLELLAND: That regime is already in place. The Labor Government tightened that.

KAREN BARLOW: The Attorney-General says he'll make a decision on possible amendments to the cyber
crime amendment legislation soon.

Karen Barlow, Lateline.