Home Affairs in talks to give telco more blocking powers against malicious messages

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The Department of Home Affairs is in talks with the telecommunications industry to provide more powers to telcos for blocking spam and malicious content.

“We are in discussion with the telcos that provide your services … under the Telecommunications Act, section 313, there might be a possibility for the telcos to act as an authorised blocking agent — that is to say, it’s unwanted, I don’t want this to come to my computer, I don’t want this to come to my phone. It’s malicious,” Home Affairs secretary Mike Pezzullo told Senate Estimates on Monday evening.

Pezzullo noted that more work needed to be done in this area, however, as it is currently unclear whether the Telecommunications Act deems providing a link to be an offence or whether the offence is actually the subsequent action taken by a criminal actor of taking advantage of a victim after they’ve clicked on a malicious link.

“There are some complexities here because it has to be a nexus to an offence. So scamming, click this link, may itself not be an offence, in which case, our advice to government in due course might well be that legislative changes are required. But the act

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