Cybercrime. In a recent report issued by the Australian Senate's Legal and Constitutional Legislation Committee, senators questioned the recently introduced cybercrime bill. The report, drafted to address the concerns of industry and consumer groups, made several recommendations. However, senators from the country's Labor party wrote an addendum to the report questioning some of the recommendations.
In the report, senators expressed concern over the term "restricted data." In the bill, penalties are increased for unauthorized access to or modification of such data, defined as "data held on a computer to which access is restricted by an access control system associated with a function of the computer." The committee opined that such a definition would make almost all data restricted since most corporate computers are equipped with basic password protection. The committee recommended that the phrase "access control" be changed to "security."
Under the bill, law enforcement may seize computer data or equipment for up to 72 hours. After such time, the officer in charge must apply to the courts for an extension to keep the items longer. The committee recommended that this time period be extended to five days based on estimates of Australian police officials. …