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PM commits $1.46 billion to improving cyber security networks

Julia Gillard also announces establishment of Australian cyber security centre.
Prime Minister Julia Gillard.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard has announced that $1.46 billion has been set aside by the Australian federal government to strengthen cyber networks as part of a National Security Strategy (PDF).

The funding ,which will be spread out to the year 2020, is designed to strengthen what Gillard described as Australia’s “most sensitive” networks.

In addition, a new Australian Cyber Security Centre will be established by the end of 2013 which will combine existing cyber security capabilities across the Attorney-General’s Department, Defence, Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO), the Australian Federal Police (AFP) and the Australian Crime Commission in one location.

According to Gillard, the centre will provide Australia with an expanded and more agile response capability to deal with all cyber issues--be they related to government, industry, crime or security.

“Importantly it will also create a hub for greater collaboration with the private sector, state and territory governments and international partners to combat the full breadth of cyber threats,” she said during a speech delivered in Canberra.

“Malicious cyber activity will likely be with us for many decades to come, so we must be prepared for a long, persistent fight.”

Gillard also announced that she has established the Office of the Cyber Policy Coordinator to provide leadership and coordination.

“For the public sector, we must ensure that our most important networks are some of the hardest to compromise in the world,” she said.

“But government alone cannot develop a secure and safe digital environment.”

Gillard added that the federal government must continue to work closely with the information security industry and international partners to develop a set of “global norms” for online behaviour.

“The Internet must remain open but also be secure.”

Follow Hamish Barwick on Twitter: @HamishBarwick

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More about: ASIO, Attorney-General, Australian Federal Police, Federal Police
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