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Cybercrime centre open for business

Source: Financial Review
By Ben Schneiders
Date: July 03, 2003

Stop Cyberterrorism The federal government said yesterday its new crime-fighting body would help review and buttress laws against cybercrime.

The Australian High Tech Crime Centre, launched in Melbourne yesterday, will be managed by the Australian Federal Police and will support federal, state and territory law enforcers in dealing with high-tech crime. Federal Justice Minister Chris Ellison said the government would also look at tightening the law: "We're also looking at other laws in relation to card skimming devices and any sort of fraud committed on the internet." Senator Ellison said 43 per cent of government and private organisations have been the victim of some sort of computer attack.

High-tech crimes include traditional crimes such as fraud facilitated by technology, as well as crimes against communications or computer systems.

"This is an evolving area, we acknowledge that," he said. "We'll be relying heavily on the experience from this centre in relation to any laws that are needed for the future."

The new centre, based in Canberra, will have a budget this year of between $4 million and $5 million, and will have 13 staff, primarily drawn from the various police forces. It will look at multi-jurisdictional high-tech crime.

Mr Ellison said the centre would link with international agencies and would be used as part of the fight against terrorism: "We would see this high-tech crime centre as being an essential part of the fight not only against crime but inadvertently terrorism as well."

He claimed that, in the course of investigations, terrorist activity could come to light.

Victorian Police and Emergency Services Minister Andre Haermeyer said technology was being used to evade the law in drug trafficking, people trafficking, fraud and terrorism.

"Not only is business and law enforcement taking advantage of new technology, so is crime," Mr Haermeyer said.

Original article: http://afr.com/articles/2003/07/02/1056825454174.html

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