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Albanese Government must take stronger action on optus cyberattack

Joint media release

Senator the Hon Sarah Henderson, Shadow Minister for Communications
Hon Karen Andrews MP, Shadow Minister for Home Affairs
Hon Angus Taylor MP, Shadow Treasurer

The Opposition welcomes the Australian government’s announcement today that it will strengthen the Telecommunications Regulations 2021 in the aftermath of the Optus cyberattack.

However, the Opposition remains concerned that the Albanese government has not moved quickly enough to implement a range of reforms which are urgently required to protect consumers. These include:

amendments to the Privacy Act including giving consumers greater powers to prevent the use or disclosure of their data, and increased penalties for breaches; and
ransomware laws to increase penalties for all forms of cyber extortion as set out in the Coalition’s Crimes Legislation Amendment (Ransomware Action Plan) Bill 2022.

It should not have taken a cyberattack on one of Australia’s major telecommunications companies, and the release of this magnitude of confidential personal information, for Labor to take this matter seriously.

Two weeks after the cyberattack, we reiterate our calls for Labor to bring forward the Coalition’s Online Privacy Bill with any necessary amendments in the next sitting of Parliament as a matter of priority, and urgently progress the broader review of the Privacy Act.

6 October 2022

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