By Cameron Stewart
November 29, 2007
A new wireless internet system in Canberra's Parliament House will need
to be bulletproof from attacks by cyber hackers, according to the senior
public servant responsible for the building.
Department of Parliamentary Services secretary Hillary Penfold told The
Australian last night the new system would "take into account security
issues" and she admitted it would be of interest to unauthorised users.
However, she said it was a beat-up to suggest the decision to involve
the country's most secretive spy agency to provide guidance was an
indication of more serious security concerns.
The Australian yesterday reported that the Defence Signals Directorate
would oversee security for the proposed new wireless internet system at
Parliament House to ensure that unauthorised users, including foreign
government hackers, could not exploit the system.
The move comes only months after China was reported to have tried to
hack into highly classified government computer networks in Australia as
part of a broader international operation to glean military secrets from
The Department of Parliamentary Services is conducting a feasibility
study for a plan to provide wireless internet access throughout
This would allow parliamentarians and staffers to send emails on laptops
anywhere within Parliament House, including the Senate and House of
As part of its study, DPS has requested "guidance" from DSD in relation
to its plans for the new system, which will be available only to
authorised users inside Parliament House.
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