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New laws in the fight against cyber crime

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THE HON NICOLA ROXON MP Attorney-General Minister for Emergency Management



New legislation has today passed the Senate today that will make it easier for police to track down cyber criminals around the world.

Attorney-General Nicola Roxon said the passage of the legislation will also allow Australia to accede to the Council of Europe Convention on Cybercrime.

“Cyber crime is a growing threat that touches all aspects of modern life. It poses complex policy and law enforcement challenges, partly due to the transnational nature of the internet,” Attorney-General Nicola Roxon said.

By acceding to the Convention, Australia joins 34 other nations that have become a party to the Convention, including the United States and Germany. Over 100 nations are also using the Convention as the basis to strengthen their legislation to combat the threat of cybercrime.

“This is good news for fighting crime and will help make it easier for police to track down cyber criminals around the world.

“In particular, this will help combat criminal offences relating to forgery, fraud, child pornography, and infringement of copyright and intellectual property.

“The Convention promotes a coordinated approach to cybercrime by requiring countries to criminalise these computer related offences. The Convention also establishes procedures to make investigations more efficient to improve international cooperation.”

The Convention is the first international treaty on crimes committed via the Internet and other computer networks, dealing particularly with computer-related fraud, child pornography and violations of network security.

The Cybercrime Legislation Amendment Bill 2011 amends the Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters Act 1987, the Criminal Code Act 1995, the Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Act 1979 and the Telecommunications Act 1997.

The Government amended the Bill in the Senate to address some of the recommendations made by the Joint Select Committee on Cyber-Safety, including privacy protections and aspects of the provision of assistance to foreign

agencies. The Government has agreed in principle with 12 of the Committee’s 13 recommendations.

The Bill will ensure that Australian legislation is consistent with international best-practice and enable domestic agencies to access and share information to facilitate international investigations.

For all media enquiries, please contact the Attorney-General’s Office on 02 6277 7300 or 0409 945 476