In a statement, AIIA chief executive Ron Gauci said, in a submission to an ongoing inquiry into the legislation, that amendments that had been proposed, but not included, should be subject to comprehensive scrutiny and consultation with industry, privacy and security experts.
A review of the encryption law was begun by the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security as soon as it was passed, on 6 December 2018, with a reporting date of 3 April. It was expected to provide some solace to the technology industry.
But the PJCIS kicked the issue down the road, asking the Independent National Security Legislation Monitor, Dr James Renwick, to review the law and report back by 1 March 2020. The PJCIS will then submit a report to Parliament by 13 April 2020.
"The concerns that have been repeatedly expressed by the AIIA in this context are not isolated; there is broad consensus across the ICT industry on the potential adverse effects this legislation could have for Australian business and economic interests," said Gauci.
“Australian-based products and services captured by the Act are at risk of being perceived as less secure than those in other jurisdictions."
He said that the AIIA was a strong supporter of efforts to fight against the use of encryption to conceal the activities of criminals.
“It’s worth noting that according to the 2018 survey conducted by the Alliance for a Safe and Secure Internet, 84.8% of Australians polled say it is important, or very important, that anything the government does to combat crime should not create weaknesses in Australia’s online security systems and make it easier for criminals and terrorists to cause further harm to everyday Australians," Gauci added.