Australia forms task force to guard elections from cyber attacks

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MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Australia has established a safety process pressure to protect in opposition to cyber assaults and interference in elections, the federal government mentioned on Saturday, amid issues international powers are meddling in home affairs and forward of 5 elections subsequent month.

FILE PHOTO: Australia’s Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and German Chancellor Angela Merkel (not pictured) deal with the media following their talks in Berlin, Germany, April 23, 2018. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch/File Picture

The newly-created Electoral Integrity Activity Pressure will determine and deal with dangers to Australia’s electoral course of, a Division of Dwelling Affairs spokesperson advised Reuters by e-mail.

“It is a precautionary measure, which within the age of accelerating ranges of cyber-enabled interference and disruption, might want to turn out to be the norm,” the spokesperson mentioned.

The Group of Seven leaders assembly in Canada had been anticipated to endorse measures to guard elections in opposition to international interference, in accordance with a draft summit dedication.

The draft seemed to be a thinly veiled reference to allegations by america and the governments of some European Union international locations that Russia interfered of their elections. Moscow has denied the allegations.

The Australian process pressure announcement comes solely weeks earlier than 5 federal by-elections, held to fill seats exterior a common election, and amid issues in Australia about Chinese language interference in its political processes.

The by-elections will check Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s recognition forward of a nationwide election due by late 2019.

Ties between Australia and its main buying and selling associate China have soured over strikes by Canberra to cease perceived international interference.

Australia is predicted to undertake laws geared toward stopping international interference by the top of July. China has formally complained over Turnbull citing Chinese language affect as justification for the brand new laws.

The brand new process pressure entails a number of businesses, together with the Division of Finance and the Division of Dwelling Affairs. The Dwelling Affairs spokesperson mentioned it might help the Australian Electoral Fee with technical recommendation and experience.

Reporting by Will Ziebell in MELBOURNE; Enhancing by Michael Perry, Alison Bevege

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