Ross Vasta welcomes new powers to combat crime on the dark web

The safety of the Bonner community has received a boost with the passage of legislation that gives Australian law enforcement agencies new capabilities to identify and disrupt serious criminal activity occurring online.

Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vasta MP said, “This is an important step forward in the fight against serious crimes like child exploitation, drug trafficking, and illegal firearms.

“So much illegal activity now takes place online and criminals think they can remain anonymous on the dark web.  We’re giving police the powers they need to tackle crime on the dark web and make our community safer.”

The Surveillance Legislation Amendment (Identify and Disrupt) Bill 2020 introduces three new powers for the Australian Federal Police (AFP) and Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission to modify and delete data to frustrate offending, collect intelligence on criminal networks, and take control of alleged offenders’ online accounts.

Minister for Home Affairs, the Hon Karen Andrews MP, said the changes will ensure Australia’s law enforcement agencies have the tools they need to keep pace with technology to continue to keep our community safe.

“The arrest of more than 290 people as part of Operation Ironside earlier this year confirmed the persistent and ever evolving threat of transnational, serious and organised crime – and the reliance of these networks on the dark web and anonymising technology to conceal their offending,” Minister Andrews said.

Mr Vasta said the Morrison Government has a strong track record of making sure our national law enforcement agencies have the powers and resources they need, with record funding delivered for the Australian Federal Police and ASIO in the Budget.

“We know that Covid-19 is not the only threat to community safety – these new laws are another important step in our plan to keep the community safe,” said Mr Vasta.

“We are determined to keep drugs off our streets and out of our community. Importantly, we are determined to stop and put away those who commit the most heinous crimes against children.”