Telecommunications Sector Security (TSS)
A secure and resilient telecommunications network is vital to our social and economic well-being. If our telecommunications network is compromised, damaged and unavailable for any length of time it can have a serious impact on the delivery and support of other critical infrastructure and services such as power, banking, water and health.
The Cyber and Infrastructure Security (CISC) works with government and the telecommunications industry to manage risks and ensure our telecommunications network is safe and secure.
Telecommunications and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2017, known as the
Telecommunications Sector Security Reforms (TSSR), creates a regulatory framework to better manage national security risks of espionage, sabotage and foreign interference to Australia’s telecommunications networks and facilities.
All carriers, carriage service providers and carriage service intermediaries are required to do their best to protect networks and facilities from unauthorised access and interference.
This includes maintaining ‘competent supervision’ and ‘effective control’ over telecommunications networks and facilities owned or operated by them.
Carriers and nominated carriage service providers are required to notify government of planned changes to their networks and services that could compromise their ability to comply with the security obligation.
Information gathering power
The Secretary of the Department of Home Affairs has the power to obtain information and documents from carriers, carriage service providers and carriage service intermediaries, to monitor and investigate their compliance with the security obligation.
The Minister for Home Affairs has the power to direct a carrier, carriage service provider or carriage service intermediary to do, or not do, a specified thing that is reasonably necessary to protect networks and facilities from national security risks.