Australian band-Aid approach to cyber security

Allowing companies to intercept their employees’ emails without their consent, as proposed by the Federal Government, would do little to protect the nation’s critical infrastructure from a potentially devastating attack from hackers and terrorists, according to cyber security experts.The assessment came as privacy and civil liberties groups expressed alarm that the new powers could allow employers to conduct intrusive searches that had little to do with security.As revealed in the Herald yesterday, the Attorney-General, Robert McClelland, said he was considering the new legislation in the wake of growing concern among security authorities about an attack on the vulnerable computer networks that underpin essential services and industries in the modern economy. Such critical infrastructure includes the financial system, power grid, telecommunications and transport networks, among others, employing millions of workers. Civil liberties expert slams email spying plans
The head of the Australian Council of Civil Liberties, Terry O’Gorman, says tighter laws to protect Australia against cyber terrorism threats are not needed. Email spying shouldn’t be business responsibility: Oppn
The Federal Opposition says a proposal to increase counter-terrorism laws by letting employers monitor staff emails will put an unnecessary burden on businesses. government wants power to snoop work e-mail, IMs
In the US, it’s mostly assumed that when you work for a company, your e-mail, web, and chat traffic may be monitored by IT staff. This is usually meant to ensure that you’re not leaking company information, wasting too much time e-flirting with the person the next cube over, or downloading porn on company time. Still, most people (who don’t work in government) operate under the assumption (mistaken at times) that, unless something goes horribly wrong at work, they have some level of privacy in their office communications. That may no longer be the case in Australia, though, if certain changes go into effect that will give companies and law enforcement the right to snoop on all employee communications whenever they please, without employee consent.

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