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Are the proposed telco sector security reforms regulatory 'over-reach'?

Michael Swinson | Aug. 12, 2015
Through its peaks and troughs, the Abbott government has always been able to point to national security as an area of relative strength.

This will slow down the procurement process, potentially making Australian telcos less agile and slower to introduce technical innovations compared to their international peers.

Anecdotal evidence from other jurisdictions, is that there have already seen the introduction of similar laws deter technology innovators to prefer to focus their energies on jurisdictions with lower risk of government interference.

For example, a Google sponsored research project on software defined networks relocated to Australia and the US in order to avoid the regulatory uncertainty created by the introduction of the laws in New Zealand.

It is too early to say how the government will respond to the strong push-back it has received so far in response to the bill. However, early indications suggest that we could expect some significant amendments to the bill, with the Attorney-General Brandis saying "we will be considering carefully the observations that the industry has made in finalising the legislation."

Federal communications minister, Malcolm Turnbull indicated that there will be changes and modifications to reflect the feedback received.

Only time will tell whether the government will be able to effectively allay everyone's concerns.


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