Aussie pols want compulsory AV software and firewalls ... As the Australian Government continues to grapple with the issue of how best to protect the nation from internet nastiness, the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Communications has just lobbed a major new element into the debate in the form of a mega-report on cyber-crime. The report - entitled Hackers, Fraudsters and Botnets: Tackling the Problem of Cyber Crime - is a 260-page opus, published this week and compiled under the chairmanship of Ms Belinda Neal MP.
In the foreword, Ms Neal writes that "the interests and needs of consumers and business [should] generally be elevated in the national Cyber Security Strategy". Some of the steps that can be taken immediately include a national coordination point to oversee this broader strategy, a national cyber- crime reporting centre, better coordination and training for law enforcement agencies and public- private information sharing on a wider range of cyber-crime types. These conclusions were based on evidence that the Committee heard, to the effect that Australian consumers (and businesses) were being targeted by cyber criminals as never before, with a total cost to Australian business as high as $649m a year. - The A Register
Dominant Social Theme: Well, of course it can, and for your own good, too ...
Free-Market Analysis: Or maybe not. We have watched with interest as government attacks against the Internet have become more formalized in China, the UK and, of course, America. The Chinese attacks are obvious and known in aggregate as the Great Firewall. In Australia, the government is seeking to move in the Chinese direction, as we can see from the article excerpted above. In America, Senator Joseph Lieberman has recently introduced a bill that would grant the US president considerable power to "shut down" the Internet in a time of major crisis or war.