New Delhi, August 13

Australia has decided not to ban Chinese mobile applications at this stage but recognises that each country will make a decision based on its own national interest, a senior Australian official said on Thursday, weeks after India banned several Chinese apps.

The Indian government, on June 29, had banned 59 Chinese apps, saying they were prejudicial to sovereignty, integrity and security of the country. Later, the government banned 47 more Chinese apps.

Asked about India’s ban on the applications and whether Australia was also considering any such ban on Chinese apps, Tara Cavanagh, Regional Director South Asia Region, Australia’s Department of Home Affairs, said his country had decided not to ban those apps at this stage.

“We recognise that each country will make its own decision in its own national interest. We have looked at the matter and we have decided that we will not be making such a decision at this stage,” she said at a media briefing.

Asked what was the reason for Australia not naming China in cyberattacks, Cavanagh said Australia’s position was that it attributed such attacks when it was in its national interest to do so.

Australia launched its Cyber Security Strategy 2020 on August 6.

Under the strategy, $1.67 billion will be invested over 10 years to achieve the vision of a more secure online world for all Australians and prioritises actions to protect the vulnerable, combat cyber-crime and protect critical infrastructure and systems of national significance.

About Australia-India cooperation on cybersecurity, the senior official in the Australian High Commission here said the two countries for several years have had a very active dialogue on cybersecurity that was being significantly stepped up through the signing of the comprehensive strategic partnership.

Australia’s deputy high commissioner here Rod Hilton said there was a very fast-growing relationship in areas of cyber and critical technology. The two countries have been increasing information sharing and stepping up cooperation, Hilton said.

“Australia and India formalised the Cyber and Cyber-Enabled Critical Technology Framework Agreement that was signed by their foreign ministers and it contains a number of areas they will work on together,” he said.

On June 4, Prime Ministers Narendra Modi and Scott Morrison signed the Australia India Comprehensive Strategic Partnership (CSP), taking the bilateral relationship to a historic high point.

“A key pillar of the CSP is cyber. Both countries have identified the importance of a holistic approach to cyber-related issues, including cybersecurity,” the Australian High Commission said. PTI





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