What do industry leaders say?
Some 300 tech sector leaders met in Sydney on Wednesday 27 March 2019, as part of a campaign called Safe Encryption Australia aimed to push policy makers to commit to overhauling the laws.
Scott Farquhar, the co-founder and co-CEO of Atlassian (Australia’s biggest tech company) believes the Act will put jobs at risk. His views were echoed by Francis Galbally, non-executive chairman of Senetas. Francis warned “this bill gives a perception of mistrust” in Australian cyber security and products which could lead to a loss in exports, and jobs. “This legislation will force our company to go offshore” Francis said.
Microsoft president and chief legal officer Brad Smith said “when I travel to other countries I hear companies and governments say ‘we are no longer comfortable putting our data in Australia’… So they are asking us to build more data centres in other countries.”
And lastly, John Stanton the CEO of the Communication Alliance focused on the bill’s technical capability notices (TCNs) which could force companies to make secret modifications to their products, and the bill’s secrecy provisions which prevent the disclosure of a notice. He also voiced his concerns around lack of a warrant framework around the issuing of notices.