Thursday, June 30th, 2011

The Australian Government's newly introduced Cybercrime Legislation is a strong acknowledgement at the highest level of the need for a concerted global effort to reduce the impact of online crime, says AVG (AU/NZ) Pty Ltd, the distributor of the award-winning AVG anti-virus and Internet security software in Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific.

The legislation strengthens local cyber security laws and enhances Australia's ability to combat domestic and international cyber crime.

Lloyd Borrett, Security Evangelist at AVG (AU/NZ), said: "The Government's timely initiative will be a great influence on the awareness levels and changes to personal and business attitudes required in Australia regarding cyber security. We commend Attorney General Robert McClelland for taking action and devising a plan to help keep this country secure from online dangers.

"Unfortunately, people don't realise how prevalent and insidious viruses, Trojans, identity theft and scams are. McClelland cites the latest figures from Australia's Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) which, in the last six months alone, has alerted Australian businesses to more than 250,000 pieces of stolen information."

The Government's Cybercrime Legislation Amendment Bill 2011 makes three key changes to assist Australian Government agencies in their investigations into cyber crime:
  • It sets the framework to enable Australia's accession to the Council of Europe Convention on Cybercrime - the only binding international treaty on cyber crime - which provides greater access to information stored overseas

  • Carriers and ISPs can be requested to retain customer data

  • The scope of existing Commonwealth computer offences has been extended.

The Convention covers crimes committed via the Internet and other computer networks, dealing particularly with computer-related fraud, child pornography and violations of network security. To date, more than 40 nations have either signed or become a party to the Convention, including the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Japan and South Africa. 100 nations are also using the Convention as the basis to strengthen their legislation to combat the threat of cyber crime.

"Given the global scale of cyber crime it's vitally important that law enforcement agencies can cooperate easily across state and international boundaries in the pursuit of the bad guys," said Borrett. "Some of the recent cyber busts of cyber criminals overseas have been a direct result of information sharing by law enforcement agencies in many countries which is now possible because of the Convention on Cybercrime. It's fantastic that Australian law enforcement agencies will soon be able to take their place as a significant contributor towards these vital global efforts.

"With this recognition of the increasing impact of cyber crime, more people will be made aware of the need to subscribe to current, always-on Internet and anti-virus protection," Borrett concluded.

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Keywords

AVG, Internet security, anti-virus, cyber crime, Cybercrime Legislation

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