Australian Parliament House Is Going To Get A Cyber Security Centre After The Chinese Hackers Scare

    The $9 million centre will try to protect the network MPs and staffers use in parliament.

    Lukas Coch / AAPIMAGE

    Parliament House is set to get its own cyber security centre, with the federal government allocating $9 million to establishing the centre.

    In the 2018 budget unveiled on Tuesday the government announced that the funding, including $300,000 in capital funding, will be spent on a new cyber security operations centre to be overseen by the Department of Parliamentary Services, “to enhance cyber security protection for the parliamentary computing network”.

    DPS is responsible for the email addresses of MPs, senators, and staff in Parliament House, as well as the device management for mobile phones and tablets for MPs and senators, and the internet services in Parliament House.

    There has previously been concern that Chinese hackers had infiltrated the network, with the AFR reporting in 2014 that Chinese intelligence agencies had access to parliament house systems for a year back in 2011.

    The funding is one of several cyber security-related announcements across a number of portfolios. Medicare’s IT systems are getting an upgrade with a cyber security focus, and $29.9 million has been allocated to work on artificial intelligence and machine learning with a focus on “supporting business innovation” in digital health, agriculture, energy, mining, and cyber security.

    The government is also providing $14.4 million to Papua New Guinea for cyber security support as part of PNG hosting APEC later this year. The Australian government is also paying for an undersea cable for PNG, but the cost of that has not been disclosed.

    Josh Taylor is a Senior Reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Sydney.

    Contact Josh Taylor at josh.taylor@buzzfeed.com.

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