New crimes for old cyberlaw for cyberspace

In the fight against cybercrime, the federal government has released new measures which could see computer hackers jailed for up to 10 years.

The measures, which were introduced in parliament on Wednesday, are based on recommendations contained in a model criminal code report released in January.

Also under the proposed Cybercrime Bill 2001, accessing restricted information would incur a penalty of two years jail, tampering with the security of Commonwealth data by passing a magnet over a credit card or cutting a computer disk in half could result in up to two years in side, and possession and supply of programs for use in a computer offence would attract a three year jail sentence.

Attorney-General Daryl Williams told parliament that updated laws are vital if authorities are to effectively detect, investigate and prosecute cybercrime activities.

He said the laws would place Australia at the forefront of international efforts to address cybercrime.

"Cybercrime activities, including hacking, virus propagation, denial of service attacks and Web site vandalism pose a significant threat to the integrity and security of computer data," Williams said.

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