National spyware tour to bend Coonan's ear

Australian IT managers fed up with purging their networks of spyware are being encouraged to front up and tell officers of the federal Department of IT, Communications and the Arts (DCITA) how bad the situation really is.

While DCITA and the Attorney General's department have already determined current communications and criminal legislation is legally sufficient to cover most of the evil deeds that may arise from spyware, it seems DCITA now wants to hear more on the problem as well as suggestions about how the IT community should address spyware.

In a pleasant departure from the time-honoured and time-consuming norm of travelling to Canberra to submit papers to committees, IT Minister Helen Coonan has unleashed several senior departmental officers to traverse the continent to collect first-hand evidence of Australia's collective spyware experience through a series of open "public consultation workshops".

Computerworld understands the officers have been instructed to be all ears to ascertain what those at the coalface of IT think can be done in terms of practical solutions or government assistance for both enterprises and the public.

The workshops appear to be a gruelling tour de force for those charged with listening, with Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Hobart, Canberra, Adelaide, Perth and Darwin all listed for workshops between the May 31 and June 9.

Locations, dates and times of the national spyware tour are available at: http://www.dcita.gov.au/ie/spyware

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