（SMH）James Massola. NOVEMBER 14 2017
Foreign spies, lobbyists and donations will be targeted under sweeping new laws that seek to fight interference with
democratic institutions and influence on politicians. Australia
Confirming on Tuesday the completion of a review into espionage and foreign interference laws, Attorney-General George Brandis on Tuesday said the new laws would include a long-awaited ban on foreign donations and a US-style foreign agents' register.
Government to rewrite laws on spying, interference
Attorney-General George Brandis says the Government is developing new legislation to combat foreign spying and interference in Australian affairs.
The tougher sanctions will tackle covert foreign interference, "a problem of the highest order [that] is getting worse" according to Senator Brandis.
"The Director-General of ASIO, the agency primarily responsible for investigating espionage, has advised that foreign intelligence activity against
continues to occur on an
unprecedented scale. Espionage and covert foreign interference can cause
immense harm to our economic prosperity and the very integrity of Australian
democracy," he said, while also pointing to interference in the elections
of other liberal democracies, such as by Australia Russia
in the 2016
Presidential election. US
Brandis mulls new laws to crack down on Chinese spies
covert campaign of control and influence in Australia
The new laws will include "legislation to ban foreign political donations, legislation to enhance and reform the espionage and foreign interference related offences in the Criminal Code, and introducing a foreign influence transparency scheme, modelled in part on the United States's foreign agents registration act".
"The government will introduce legislation arising from that review, including legislation that comprehensively revises our espionage, sabotage, treason and secrecy offences, and introduces a new category of offences, criminalising certain acts of covert foreign interference."
The new "transparency scheme", or register for foreign agents, will mean that people or institutions will have to declare if they are acting on behalf of a foreign power to influence Australian politics.
"For the first time, the public and decision-makers in government will have visibility of the level and extent to which foreign sources may be seeking to influence
's government and
political processes," he said. Australia
|Attorney-General George Brandis will introduce new laws targeting foreign spies, agents and donations to parliament by the end of the year. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen|
The laws, in part, target the so-called "sub-espionage" level of foreign interference such as individuals covertly lobbying, infiltrating or donating to political parties on behalf of foreign governments.
Fairfax Media reported in September that Senator Brandis had flown to
in July for briefings from US national security officials on the operation of
their foreign interference laws. Washington
There are growing fears about Chinese Communist Party influence in
political system. Fairfax Media has confirmed Senator Brandis has received
detailed intelligence briefings that suggest Chinese Communist Party-affiliated
lobbyists and business people have sought to exert influence in local, state
and federal governments Australia
（This article is reprinted from other source. Its contents, analysis and conclusions may not reflect those as supported or advocated by AVA）