19:44 GMT30 September 2020
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Australian Interior Minister Peter Dutton said on Thursday that the government's cyberstrategy, worth 1.6 billion Australian dollars ($1.2 billion, enables the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD) to help law enforcement agencies identify and target Australians involved in serious criminal activities.

    "What we are proposing here is that the Australian federal police, with the ACIC [Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission], with a warrant from the court, knowing that somebody operating a server, whether it’s in Seattle or Sydney, if they are targeting Australian citizens … [the agencies] would be able to target that paedophile network, regardless of where they are in the world", Dutton said, as quoted by The Guardian.

    According to Dutton, law enforcement agencies will use this new capability to only target terrorists, paedophiles and drug traffickers operating on the dark web.

    At the same time, the new powers have not been clearly fixed within the extended cyberstrategy, which says only that the government will "ensure law enforcement agencies have appropriate legislative powers and technical capabilities to deter, disrupt and defeat the criminal exploitation of anonymizing technology and the dark web."

    "If you are a paedophile you should be worried about these powers, if you are a terrorist … If you are committing serious offense in relation to trafficking of drugs, of ice, for example, that is being pedaled to children, you should be worried about these powers as well", Dutton stressed.

    Earlier in the day, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced an increase to federal spending on cybersecurity to 758 million-1.664 billion Australian dollars in the next 10 years. The funds are expected to cover initiatives to reinforce countering criminal activity on the dark web and help critical infrastructure providers assess vulnerability in their networks.

    law, security, Australia
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