Australia Strengthens National Security, Promises $ 2 Billion in Intelligence, Cyber ​​and Border Defense

Domestic security has emerged as a major priority of the federal budget these days, with the Australian Government spending nearly $ 2 billion to become the country’s leading espionage agency, striving to combat international crime and cyberattacks. ..

“To keep Australians safe from these threats, the government has provided an additional $ 1.9 billion over a decade to strengthen national security, law enforcement and intelligence agencies, both domestically and internationally. Treasury Secretary Josh Frydenberg told Congress in a budget speech Tuesday night.

“We also need to prepare for an unstable and more contested world,” he added.

“That’s why we’re investing $ 270 billion in defense capabilities over a decade,” said a finance official, who promised to increase funding for the Australian Defense Force last year’s 2020 strategic update. Mentioned.

Australia’s domestic espionage agency receives most of the $ 1.9 billion promise from the government, and $ 1.3 billion will be allocated to the Australian Security Intelligence Organization (ASIO) over the next decade.

Epoch Times Photo
Australian Security Intelligence Organization ASIO Executive Director Mike Burgess is preparing an annual speech at ASIO Headquarters in Canberra on Wednesday, March 17, 2021. (AAP Image / Mick Tsikas)

“This funding will greatly enhance ASIO’s ability to identify and respond to threats,” said Interior Minister Karen Andrews and Immigration Minister Alex Hawke.

“ASIO will also be able to meet the challenges posed by rapid technology changes, especially by leveraging the Australian technology industry.”

ASIO has been hiring in recent years, as agencies do. Set to extend, Along with the Australian Federal Police (AFP), by an additional 300 staff.

The Australian Criminal Information Commission (ACIC) will receive an additional $ 51.8 million to combat cross-border crime and will allocate $ 59.9 million to AFP over a four-year period to tackle the exploitation of children.

The investment is based on the $ 320 million allocated to AFP in the previous 2020-21 budget and interferes with criminal activity, including child sexual abuse, such as cash flow targeting, live streaming and material interception. Divided into efforts to do.

The government also strengthened offshore and onshore detention facilities for $ 464.7 million to increase capacity and to continue strengthening sovereign border operations aimed at stopping illegal asylum seekers. Promises $ 38.1 million.

Epoch Times Photo
Members of the Royal Australian Navy will head to HMAS Wollongong, which is currently patrolling the waters between Saibai and Papua New Guinea on March 26, 2021. (Brooke Mitchell / Getty Images)

Australia’s 5G and future 6G network security will be supported by a $ 33.5 million investment in the development and commercialization of data security solutions.

The $ 42.4 million will be used to improve security measures for critical infrastructure assets to protect against cyber attacks. Cybersecurity has become a hot topic in recent years following attacks on parliamentary networks and the government sector.

Matt Warren, a cybersecurity professor at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, praised the government’s focus on national security and said this level of spending was “new normal.”

“Australia faces a variety of new security threats, including cyber. The increased funding for ASIO and cybersecurity is to protect Australia,” he told The Epoch Times.