Australian Security Agencies to Safeguard Telcos

By Ethan Yang
Epoch Times Staff
Created: August 20, 2012 Last Updated: August 20, 2012
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Proposed changes to Australian national security laws would require telecommunications businesses to alert security agencies when they install new equipment, according to reports.

The draft national security laws, contained in a paper written by the Attorney-General’s department, were aimed at reducing Australia’s vulnerability to cyber attacks, reported the Australian Financial Review. The paper argues there is an overwhelming case for security agencies to intervene in the market to protect the national interest. 

The proposed new cyber security regime follows the Federal Government’s decision to ban Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei from participating in the country’s National Broadband Network on advice from security agencies.

Huawei went on the offensive last week, with the company’s board member Chen Lifang raising concerns about the “undue rise in power of security agencies to affect business operations” and questioning why Australia was the only country in the world to exclude it from its broadband infrastructure.

“Nine countries are setting up national broadband networks,” she told the Financial Review. “Huawei is providing infrastructure to eight of them.”

Huawei Australia counts former Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer and former Victorian Premier John Brumby among its executives.

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