SENATOR PENNY WONG
LEADER OF THE AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY IN THE SENATE
SHADOW MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS
LABOR SENATOR FOR SOUTH AUSTRALIA
TIM WATTS MP
SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR CYBER SECURITY
SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR COMMUNICATIONS
MEMBER FOR GELLIBRAND
The Morrison Government’s International Cyber and Critical Technology Engagement Strategy comes five months too late and falls short on real action to counter growing cyber threats.
DFAT advised Senate Estimates the release of this strategy had been delayed for five months because Minister Payne was too ‘busy’ to launch it.
But even after all this time it still fails to deliver real leadership in shaping the world’s engagement with cyber and critical technologies.
Many of Australia’s most significant social and economic opportunities, as well as geo-strategic and security challenges, are currently unfolding through the prism of cyber and critical technologies.
Yet Australian industries and institutions have been left to go it alone. The strategy does not propose any new actions by the Morrison Government to tackle the billion-dollar wave of ransomware attacks Australian business are facing from international cybercrime groups.
In her speech launching the strategy, the Foreign Minister referenced cyber-attacks on the Australian Parliament and political parties, declaring that “attacks on democracy cannot go unchallenged”.
But the Morrison Government has never taken any action to challenge those responsible for the 2019 cyber-attacks on the Australian Parliament, nor has it publicly attributed responsibility — despite all its tough talk.
Labor’s ransomware discussion paper made the case for greater diplomatic efforts on practical measures to advance international law enforcement cooperation in investigating and prosecuting cybercrime. Labor has also called on the Government to treat democratic institutions as critical infrastructure.
Australians deserve a serious plan for cyber security, but this strategy is just more political management from a tired government that has lost its way after eight long years in office.
Authorised by Paul Erickson, ALP, Canberra.