Thursday, November 17, 2011

National Cyber Policy Proposals from the Australian Computer Society

The Australian Computer Society has released a Submission for the Australian Cyber Policy White Paper. As well as a short summary, the full 14 page 270 Kbyte PDF document is available: "Response to The Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet's Discussion Paper". This is in response to the "Connecting With Confidence: Optimizing Australia's Digital Future" discussion paper, issued by the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet (PM&C) in September 2011. PM&C plan to issue a "CyberWhitePaper" in early 2012. The ACS assisted with public consultations around Australia in October 2011 and I am a member of the ACS Cyber Task Force which assisted in preparing the ACS submission and the consultations.

Except from the ACS submission summary:

The ACS recommends

  • greater focus on education - noting that ICT education in primary and secondary schooling is essential to developing ICT skills of the future and that school level educational activity forms the base on which appropriate tertiary level education programs can function for the education and training of ICT professionals
  • greater assistance to small and medium sized business as this is the engine room of the Australian economy 3
  • policy coordination on trusted identities
  • better coordination of cyber related education and research
  • providing consumers and businesses with resources directed to the everyday real-life challenges they face
  • global Internet governance changes designed to underpin and deliver trustworthy people, processes and systems including, where appropriate, a legislated mandatory baseline of trustworthiness attributes analogous to the non-excludable warranties implied in consumer contacts.

... ACS members design, implement, and maintain the online systems which underpin the Australian economy for the benefit of the Australian community. The ACS has a vital interest in seeing that these systems are secure and in ensuring the proposed 2012 whitepaper details real policy guidance directed at national ICT research organisations to address these challenges as they are critical to meet any objectives that the whitepaper may have. We suggest that Moving from Trusted to Trustworthy would be an appropriate theme to complement the Connecting with Confidence discussion paper.

The ACS has prepared this response to the discussion paper to assist with the design of the cyber whitepaper expected in 2012. The ACS also welcomes the opportunity to promote discussion and support of our digital economy to position Australia for the future. Drawing from its membership of ICT professionals, and academics – particularly in areas of cyber resilience and security - the ACS established a Cyber Taskforce for this purpose.

While the ACS Taskforce will respond in broad terms to the issues raised by the discussion paper, the Taskforce also appreciates the opportunity to highlight important issues not fully articulated in the paper and hopes that these will help to inform future discussion and policy leadership.


In addition, many critical contingencies for Australia to ‘connect with confidence’ are absent in the discussion paper. Most notable are issues of cyber space sovereignty, such as Free Trade Agreements, the rights of individuals, privacy leakages and breach notification reporting, freedom of information and the role of data collection agencies. As ICT is a truly global profession and operates in global markets, the whitepaper should recognise this basic fact. In particular, the roles and responsibilities of the ICT industry, and its vendors and system operators, must be emphasized so that professionalism becomes a fundamental element in achieving trustworthiness in people, processes and systems. ...

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