‘Poor’ security delay Australia | Information age

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How does Australia rank in the digital quality of life rankings? Photo: Shutterstock

Long accustomed to poor innovation maturity rankings and truly dismal global broadband rankings, the Australian internet industry would have appreciated the news that a global digital quality of life (DQL) ranking has called us a leader. regional – until he realized that the Oceania region of the survey only had one other country. .

While Australia’s victory – you guessed it – New Zealand made it the top-ranked country of the two Oceania countries, globally, the 2021 Digital Quality of Life Index of the rather more humiliating VPN provider Surfshark.

Australian DQL ranked 17e overall, based on 14 measures assessing Internet accessibility, Internet quality, electronic infrastructure, electronic security and electronic government – the five pillars, according to the survey, which reflect the successful digital transformation across the economy.

The survey ranked 110 countries against these five pillars, giving Australia an overall score of 0.6835 which places it ahead of New Zealand (0.6492) and emerging countries like China (0.6529 ), Ireland (0.6459), Malaysia (0.6108) and Qatar (0.6050).

Australia was far behind other first world countries, however, including the top ranked Denmark, South Korea, Finland and Israel, and the security of our digital economy seems to be one of the main reasons.

“Digital opportunities have proven to be more important than ever during the COVID-19 crisis, highlighting the importance for each country to ensure fully remote operational capacities for their economies,” Surfshark CEO Vytautas Kaziukonis said at the meeting. launch of the new index.

Australia’s efforts around e-government have been ranked among the best in the world, with Australia ranking in the top ten in this category as well as in internet quality, with an improvement in our mobile speeds. 90% speed and 85% broadband speed.

Yet those strengths have been blunted by falling electronics infrastructure and Internet accessibility scores – which have declined 49% over the past year – as well as what Surfshark called “poor. “electronic security notes that placed Australia 36e at the World level.

The weak points of the digital economy

As a lever that can be directly influenced by government policies, security is a key indicator of Australia’s progress in building its digital economy – but it does poorly in the Surfshark meta-analysis, which corroborates the findings. official indicators, including National Cyber ​​Security Index (NCSI) ratings. and the status of their data protection laws.

Australia’s DQL score is well below that of its allies in the controversial AUKUS partnership – the US was fifth and the UK tenth – and these countries scored much higher on cybersecurity (ranked 16e and 18e, respectively) than Australia.

The low security rating – also reflected in the NCSI ranking of 30 – may well be a personal goal after years of controversy as the government passed intrusive new data retention laws, introduced new digital research mandates aggressive and swept away the damages and costs. Encryption Act ‘in law to facilitate an extraordinary global attack.

Only two years ago, the US government warned Australia against the impropriety of the Encryption Act. Yet, after the success of the An0m scam, the law could be a selling point for Australia given its value in helping foreign governments bypass domestic restrictions on privacy.

Yet security isn’t the only thing jeopardizing Australia’s overall ranking: long a scarecrow of the industry, internet accessibility appears to have been sacrificed after telecom operators were granted a special waiver. to work together to keep our digital economy online at the onset of the pandemic.

Removal of competitive pressure may have started the ball rolling, with NBN Co striving to improve its results for possible privatization in the face of attrition of fixed-line customers and competition from Telstra – which doubles 5G to increase revenue and overtake NBN.

The DQL’s findings echo earlier findings such as the IMD Global Digital Competition Rankings (WDCR), which last year flagged Australia’s greatest weaknesses as a communications technology – in which the Australia ranked 51st out of 63 countries – and Business Agility, in which Australia ranked 48th.

“Digital technologies have the potential to offer very real economic opportunities and very real improvements in the quality of people’s lives,” said at the time the chief executive of the Economic Development Committee of Australia (CEDA ), Melinda Cilento, “but the community must have confidence that they are advanced in their best interests and they improve well-being.

“Major economies cover all bases, strengthening digital infrastructure, developing skills and talents, and providing effective regulation and policy frameworks.

“Doing well in some areas but falling behind in other areas of digital competitiveness will not be enough. “


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