Internet Australia is disappointed to note the brief advisory report from the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security (PJCIS) released yesterday evening, prior to Parliament considering passing a modified Assistance and Access Bill on the final sitting day of 2018. The Coalition and Opposition have agreed to rush the highly complex laws through Parliament this year, just a few short months into their bipartisan public review. 

“The only thing this Assistance and Access Bill compromise demonstrates is that bullying pays off” said Dr Paul Brooks, Chair of Internet Australia. “The extraordinary intervention by Minister Dutton and Prime Minister Morrison into the PJCIS timetable risks damaging the reputation of parliamentary process and public review, as many experts question the time, thought and expertise poured into providing independent expert testimony through the parliamentary committee process, only to have the advice largely dismissed or ignored.”

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Following our AGM held on 7th November, and a meeting of the Directors of Internet Australia held earlier today,  I am delighted to inform you of the officeholders for Internet Australia for the next twelve months:

Chair Dr Paul Brooks
Vice-Chair (International): Ms Cheryl Langdon-Orr
Vice-Chair: Mr Keith Besgrove
Vice-Chair: Ms Sae Ra Germaine
Secretary: Mr Roger Clarke
Treasurer: Mr Geoff Huston

and the other members of the Board of Directors are:

  Mr Greg Adamson
  Mr James Horton
  Mr Shantnu Kumar
  Ms Holly Raiche
  Ms Fiona Tweedie
  Mr Peter Tonoli

The Board of Internet Australia thanks Mr Craig O'Toole for his valuable service and wise counsel as Director and Treasurer for the past two years.

We look forward to building on the successes of the past years, and addressing the challenges and opportunities in the coming years for Australia, and with our colleagues across the Asia-Pacific and the wider Internet activity across the globe and off-world

Helping Shape Our Internet Future
Working for an open, globally-connected, secure, and trustworthy Internet for everyone.

A number of industry associations are calling for the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security (PJCIS) not to scuttle the Parliamentary process and bow to Government pressure to wave through the Telecommunications and Other legislation Amendment (Assistance and Access) Bill 2018, also known as the Encryption Bill. The call came after Prime Minister Scott Morrison “insisted” that the PJCIS cut short its Inquiry into the Encryption Bill and the Bill be passed within the next fortnight.

Internet Australia Chair, Paul Brooks. said: “The Encryption Bill stands to have major consequences for millions of Australians, their confidential data, and on businesses that will be captured by the proposed Bill. Therefore, it is crucial that lawmakers give the Bill serious consideration and work with stakeholders to fix its well-documented flaws.

“There is a need for cool heads to prevail, accompanied by detailed analysis of the impact on Australians and Australian businesses, and for law makers to approach this important task systematically while following due Parliamentary process,”

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"At the Internet Australia AGM held on 7 November in Melbourne and cyberspace, a key figure in the Australian Internet was elected to the Board of Directors." - Internet Australia

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Confidential and trusted communications are essential to the ongoing safety, security and efficient use of global Internet communications networks for business, government and personal interactions. Strong encryption technologies are recommended to ensure confidentiality, and to ensure trust by authenticating that communications are really with the desired recipient and are not being hijacked and redirected by an imposter.
This draft legislation clearly needs further work before it can be seriously considered to be ready for passing. The Government and the Australian public needs to recognise the clear potential dangers to the security and privacy of ordinary Australians which this legislation, in its current form, poses.

Full Submission Here