Shock was felt throughout the Australian tech industry in response to news that the Telecommunications and Other Legislation (Assistance and Access) Act 2018 has been passed. The Act extends the powers of Australian law enforcement agencies to stop anti-terrorist activities by amending several pieces of legislation that deal with national security operations.
There are concerns that the effect of this Act may spread beyond anti-terrorism purposes. The introduction of these new laws has been labelled as “tech industry killer” by several Australian businesses. A real risk is that these laws will significantly stifle the competitiveness of Australia’s burgeoning IT industry in the global market, as well as detract major brands from Australian talent and consumer market.