Julia Gillard: Australia must become a regional cyber-security leader


Julia Gillard has named "integrated cyber policy and operations" one of three key national security strategy priorities for the next five years. As part of this strategy we will see the establishment of the Australian Cyber Security Centre by the end of this year.

This is a commendable move, but should serve only as a first step in the government's efforts in cyberspace. Australia must lead the region in dealing with cyber warfare, cyber terrorism and cyber crime using our extensive technological capacity and existing regional relationships.

This leadership role will, or course, demand we confront the elephant in the room, our largest trading partner, China. Hopefully, Australia's strong diplomatic links in the Asia-Pacific that led to it being elected to the UN Security Council last year will help balance the increasing power of dominant cyber players such as China and provide support to smaller, yet key strategic partners, that are falling behind in their cyber defence capabilities.