The war on global cybercrime and identity theft continues…

The Government’s Cybercrime Legislation Amendment Bill 2011 is set to be passed through the Senate in the New Year, according to reports from The Australian Newspaper ‘Australia to join global anti-cybercrime fight’ today.

Attorney-General Robert McClelland told a Council of Europe meeting yesterday in France that the Government’s Cybercrime Bill will have the “endorsement of Parliament in the new year,”

“For our part, there is no doubt that once Australia has taken the necessary steps to provide for accession to the Convention on Cybercrime, we will be better placed to take on the challenge globally,” he said in a keynote address.

“Our domestic laws will criminalise more nefarious cyber activity and give our crime fighters the right modern tools.

“Information required to prosecute cyber criminals will be protected from destruction whilst law enforcement agencies seek warrants for its access,” he says.

Back in June we blogged about this Bill, ‘Government brings in new laws in war against cyber-crime and identity theft’ following the Government’s signing of the cybercrime treaty in May, and as it made swift changes to some of Australia’s laws to allow the Bill to be passed and implemented with ease. The changes were seen as a necessary response to the growing threat of cybercrime and the global nature of the crime.

Australia will be joining the Council of Europe Convention on Cybercrime, of which more than 40 nations have already signed or become a party to the Convention, including the USA, UK, Canada, Japan and South Africa.

The Convention allows countries to co-operate in investigations to deal with international crimes committed on computer networks, such as online fraud.

The Bill will also give Australian police greater powers to force internet service providers to retain data of customers who are suspected to have committed a cybercrime while the matter is being investigated.

The convention has been criticised by some such as Kapersky Lab’s CEO Eugene Kapersky, who says if non-European, non-English speaking countries will not “join the club” there will be failure.

“Do you think it’s real that if a government computer in Russia is infected, that they will let the US in? Or that the White House will let Russia in? And then China or Latin America? Forget about it,” Kaspersky told SC Magazine.
“It hasn’t worked in 10 years.”

Instead, Mr Kaspersky advocates the need for an “internet Interpol” to manage international crime investigations and liaise with national police forces.

Currently there appears to be great difficulty in investigating and prosecuting international cybercrime rings –especially in respect to online fraud cases. Much of the internet-generated identity theft is not initiated on Australian shores. The worldwide web provides easy international access, meaning elaborate schemes intended to commit identity fraud can be generated from any country and impact ordinary Australians.

In fact, current advice about overseas scams on the government’s SCAMWatch website is almost a disclaimer for failure to prosecute perpetrators of overseas scams:

“due to the ‘fly by night’ nature of many scammers, it is extremely difficult to track them down and take action against them. Though it depends on the circumstances of each case, the ACCC may not be able to take action or enforce Australian Court orders against the many scammers that are based outside of Australia.” the SCAMWatch website explains.

Anything which increases the likelihood of accountability for identity theft and fraud as it relates to the global market should be seen as a positive step, as would the implementation of some of Kapersky’s ideas.

One thing which is certain is we can never rest on our laurels. Constant monitoring and improvement needs to continue and be pushed for to keep up with the vast array of changes technology and the crime that ultimately follows it.

For more information on identity theft related to credit files, contact MyCRA Credit Repairs tollfree on 1300 776 218 or visit the main website

Image: digitalart/