Atlassian, in partnership with advocacy group StartupAUS and other Australian technology companies, has formally submitted a set of recommended improvements to the Telecommunication and Other Legislation Amendment (Assistance and Access) Act 2018, a law that was hastily approved by the Australian government in December 2018.

While we cannot reverse the bill, our intention is to improve it in keeping with the government’s stated aim for the legislation. Our goal is to reach a solution that reduces the scope of the bill and strikes a better balance between the interests of law enforcement and our responsibility to protect our customers and their data.

We encourage you to read the industry-led submission below to understand the risks posed by the bill in its current form, and our set of recommendations for change.

The legislation grants the government unprecedented power to direct the operations of technology companies and the development of their products with little oversight. It has already served to damage the reputation and perception of the Australian tech industry globally.

When Atlassian was founded 17 years ago — with just two employees — there was no tech sector or startup culture in Australia. Today Atlassian employs more than 3,000 people and serves 140,000 customers around the world, and Australia is home to a thriving tech ecosystem filled with startups, VCs, incubators, and world-class talent.

This legislation threatens to undermine that success. We strongly support the changes outlined in the StartupAUS submission, and urge lawmakers to achieve their stated goals without marginalizing the Australian technology sector, which Australians have worked so hard to build.

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Atlassian urges changes to Australia’s Assistance and Access Act