The Royal Commission on Automated Debt, Cyber ​​Safety and Anti-Phishing Laws on the Australian Election Agenda

Investing more than A$33 million to bolster cyber safety capabilities and enact proposed anti-phishing laws are just some of the policies the coalition government has pledged to pursue if re-elected in the upcoming federal election on May 21.

Specifically, the policy includes A$23 million to raise awareness of the Cyber ​​Safety Commissioner’s support for Australian schools, provide training programs for teachers, improve online safety resources for schools, and strengthen support for schools with external online safety providers.

It also includes an additional A$10 million for the Cyber ​​Safety Commission to expand coordination with other law enforcement and regulatory agencies, ensuring victims “tell us once” and are supported with appropriate service.

In addition, the Morrison government has said it will continue to uphold the legislation Suggested anti-phishing lawsnoting that it would ensure social media companies are held accountable, while giving Australians more power to deal with malicious defamatory comments from anonymous trolls.

Read: Inman Grant’s re-appointment as Cyber ​​Security Commissioner comes with new powers

The proposed laws, however, have been criticized by senatorsand victims of online abuse and organizations including Electronic Safety Committee For being difficult to access and unclear, and would require more work if it were to become law.

The government said it also wants to introduce an industry code binding under the Internet Security Act to ensure smartphones and tablets have “robust” parental controls installed that are easy to find and activate. It is difficult for children to get over it If the industry is not operating within 12 months.

An additional A$2 million in online safety grants has been earmarked to benefit online safety projects that support women and girls in culturally and linguistically diverse communities.

“Our children should be able to learn, entertain or connect with their friends and family without experiencing online abuse, humiliation or predators. The online world cannot be a cowardly cave where there are no real world rules,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison said.

“The big tech and social media giants must be held accountable. Our plan will force them to do more – they can’t create it, and they are washing their hands of all the consequences of that.

“Our plan will also ensure that parents can protect their children online with strong parental controls, help prevent harm by raising awareness in every school, and improve our support for those who have been harmed online.”

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At the same time, the government said that new funding of A$3.8 million, delivered through the 2022-2023 budget, will be handed over to youth mental health organization Batyr to expand its digital platform OurHerd, which seeks to provide young people with a safe digital space to view and learn from health stories Positive psychology shared by peers. Funding will build on a previous government investment of A$2.8 million through the 2019-20 budget to develop OurHerd.

The Minister for Health and Aged Care, Greg Hunt, said the additional funding for the OurHerd program will support nearly 60,000 young people aged 14-30 with mild to moderate mental health needs, their families, caregivers and communities.

“Through peer-to-peer education and sharing stories of lived experience, Battier is helping more young people get help before they reach a crisis point,” Minister Hunt said.

“This early support reduces the lifelong effects of mental illness and saves lives.”

Meanwhile, the opposition has pledged, as part of its election campaign, to set up a Royal Commission on Mechanized Debt by the end of this year, with consultations to begin after the elections.

The Royal Commission is expected to determine who was responsible for the robot’s debt scheme; Defining advice and processes that guided its design and implementation; Investigation of system complaints handling; Determining the amount of the cost of implementing the system, suspending it and returning it to the taxpayer; investigation of harm to Australians; and investigate the use of third parties for debt collection under the scheme.

work was Invitation to a Royal Commission in government Automated debt disaster Since June 2020.

Shadow Minister for Government Services Bill Shorten said: “We still don’t know how this reckless scheme was unleashed. We don’t know if bad legal advice was given or if legal advice was not sought.”

“We don’t know if public officials have been inappropriately condensed and politicized. Without knowing the true origins, we don’t know what safeguards can be put in place to prevent recurrence.”

In May 2020, the federal government endorsed its Online Data Matching Initiative (OCI), dubbed robo-deb, I got about 470,000 “debts” wrong.

Read also: Federal Court approves A$112 million in damages for automated debt settlement

OCI’s program automatically compared the Australian Tax Office’s (ATO) declared income to the income declared to Centrelink, resulting in debt notices being issued, along with a 10% redemption fee, whenever a discrepancy is detected in government data.

Centrelink OCI Program witnessed from July 1, 2016 to August 31, 2019 Start 1,159,662 reviews Using automated data matching technology.

Separately, the opposition also said it would launch a user audit of the government services digital portal myGov to “take a fresh look” at how well it is doing and help identify changes and improvements that can be made.

Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese stated: “Millions of Australians interact with myGov daily and rely on it to deliver essential services. It is not up to scratch, and Australians deserve better. That is why we will review myGov and make improvements where necessary.”

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