New data revealed 48 per cent of kids aged 9-12 access social media despite the 13-plus age restrictions.
New data revealed 48 per cent of kids aged 9-12 access social media despite the 13-plus age restrictions.

Labor calls for dedicated cyber minister

Federal Labor has welcomed the Morrison government's plan to develop a new cybersecurity strategy but is calling for the appointment of a dedicated cybersecurity minister.

Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton on Friday released a consultation paper to update the nation's cyber security strategy, calling for submissions by November.

The government says a new approach to cyber security is needed because foreign state-backed hackers are becoming more brazen in their attempts to use online espionage.

The first strategy was created three years ago.

Labor's home affairs spokeswoman Kristina Keneally and assistant cybersecurity spokesman Tim Watts said the 2016 strategy was released with great fanfare and hundreds of millions of dollar in funding, but the results have been "patchy at best".

They note Australia - under the United Nations International Telecommunications Union global cyber security index - has dropped from third in 2014 to 11th in 2018, and globally ranks in the top five for the most number of data breaches by population.

"It is clear there has been no one inside the government to be responsible, to be accountable and to drive the change needed to build resilience to cyber threats in Australia," they said.

They said a number of promises were made when the strategy was first established that have not been fulfilled, such as annual updates and an online information sharing portal to address emerging cyber threats.

"The government's new Australian cyber security strategy must reinstate a dedicated minister within the government to take responsibility for this crucial area of policy and drive the change we need to build resilience across Australian society," Senator Keneally and Mr Watts said.


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