Australia set to gain ability to sanction cyber attackers under 'Magnitsky-style' law

A Bill allowing Australia to directly issue sanctions against cyber attackers was unanimously passed by the Senate yesterday evening, and is set to appear before the lower house for another sign off.

The Bill, colloquially known as a “Magnitsky-style” of law, if enshrined, would allow the Australian government to directly issue sanctions against individuals or entities that ban them from visiting Australia or making any investments in the country.

The legislation is partly based on the United States’ Magnitsky Act, which was ratified in a bid to punish Russian officials that were responsible for the death of whistleblower Sergei Magnitsky who accused them of tax fraud.

Along with targeting cyber attackers, the proposed laws also seek to allow direct sanctions against human rights abusers, corrupt officials and threats to international peace, security, and international humanitarian law.

The Australian Centre for International Justice (ACIJ) lauded the move, saying it would strengthen Australia’s committee to human rights globally.

“It goes without saying, targeted sanctions should be a tool for protecting against the most serious violations of human rights wherever they occur in the world. We hope the Australian government will approach the use of this new sanctions power consistently, equally and free

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