Australians warned of dangers of cyberspace

Law firms and Australian companies are increasingly vulnerable to the US Government’s overzealous regulation of cyberspace, according to a visiting information technology law expert.Speaking to Lawyers Weekly following the release of a whitepaper detailing the effects of the USA’s Patriot Act 2001 on Australian businesses, Hong Kong-based Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer partner Connie Carnabuci said the power of the US Government to seize sensitive information under the Act has no parallel in Australia and is a growing concern for Australian companies.The whitepaper, titled The long arm of the USA Patriot Act: tips for Australian businesses selecting data service providers, details how the Act allows US authorities to exercise extraterritorial powers in relation to non-US entities to obtain data if that data has a “sufficient connection” with the US, such as being stored on a server located in the US or being controlled by a US company.

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