Policy Proposal – TOLA

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The Telecommunications and Other Legislation Amendment (Assistance and Access) Act 2018 compels companies to provide information and assistance to law enforcement and security agencies. The Act’s unprecedented powers, broad scope and limited oversight provisions have generated concern among local technology firms over their obligations and made it harder for Australian companies to operate internationally.

 

In particular there is concern over:

  • The potential for individual technology workers to be targeted under the legislation rather than the company under which they are employed. 
  • The broad basis under which powers granted under the Act may be executed has raised concerns about the potential for compromised privacy and security of customers of Australian technology
  • The broad definition of a communications provider, which causes essentially any business with a technology product to be captured under the Act
  • The relatively limited oversight set out in the Act

 

The potential for actual and perceived harm to Australian technology is significant, and any risk or perceived risk that buying Australian technology or employing Australian workers compromises security or privacy is a damaging result for Australia’s technology industry.

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