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Important amendments to Anti-Encryption Act remain outstanding

"The amendments to the Anti-Encryption Act set to be introduced by the Federal Opposition tomorrow deserve consideration given that the Act as it now stands could lead to the weakening of the cyber security of businesses and its customers," Australian Industry Group Chief Executive Innes Willox said today.

"We appreciate that important reviews of the Act are underway by the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security and Independent National Security Legislation Monitor. These reviews will not be completed until sometime next year and in the meantime important amendments have been sought by a broad range of industry and community stakeholders since the Act was passed in December last year.

"Cyber security threats remain a growing and evolving risk management issue for many, as we highlighted in our recent submission to the Government’s 2020 Cyber Security Strategy. The Act creates an additional layer of risk.

"The breadth of scope of the Act also means that the risks are not just confined to technology businesses – wider industry is increasingly characterised by the use of networked systems and embedded digital capabilities and communications in a wide range of processes and products. The unintended consequence of the Act is the risk of substantial damage to the security, credibility and reputation of Australia’s connected systems and products and the businesses and people who use them.

"We encourage all sides of the Parliament to support moving forward the outstanding amendments that we raised most recently in the current reviews of the Act," Mr Willox said.

Media enquiries: Tony Melville – 0419 190 347