Law bars telco licences for terrorist groups

Federal parliament last night passed laws to prevent terrorist groups joining Australia's telecommunications industry and receiving a carrier licence.

While the government did not quantify the number of suspected terrorists groups keen to join the local telco industry, the new laws allow the Australian Communications Authority (ACA) to refuse a carrier licence on national security grounds.

It means suspected terrorist groups will be barred from accessing telephone services and is aimed at protecting Australia's telecommunications network.

A Labor amendment, which the government accepted, stopped a move to allow the attorney general to bar an individual from supplying telecommunications services.

However, an organisation that posed a risk can be stopped from using or supplying such services.

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