Cyber threats the focus for Quintet of Attorneys-General

"Renewed vigilance" a priority for Sydney meeting

Attorneys-General from the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, New Zealand and Australia will meet in Sydney next week to discuss joint actions to address the growth of online threats.

Australia is hosting the third annual Quintet meeting on 14 to 15 July to share ideas and deal with issues of mutual concern, including national security, counter-terrorism, countering violent extremism, organised crime and legal cooperation.

"Cyber security and crime represents a significant and growing threat to individuals, business and governments around the world," said Australia's Attorney-General, Robert McClelland in a media statement.

"The global nature of cyber crime is such that no nation alone can effectively combat the problem, making international cooperation and engagement essential components of an effective response."

Online crime's transnational nature and its use of rapidly-evolving technology make it a complex policy and law enforcement challenge, McClelland said. "That's why renewed international vigilance is such a priority for all five countries."

The Quintet will discuss how to make best use of provisions in the Council of Europe Convention on Cybercrime, which Australia intends to ratify. Legislation to bring Australia in line with Convention obligations, the Cybercrime Legislation Amendment Bill 2011, was introduced to parliament on 26 June.

In addition, each Attorney-General will lead discussions on a range of key issues, including:

* Countering Violent Extremism (Australia);
* Intelligence and Evidence in Legal Proceedings (Canada);
* Disclosure of Digitally Stored Material (United Kingdom);
* Extradition (New Zealand); and
* Sentencing (United States).

"Australia will also brief the meeting on the Government's countering violent extremism (CVE) strategy which aims to reduce the risk of home-grown terrorism by building community resilience to radicalisation and extremist views," McClelland said.

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