The Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth) was amended on 29 June 2018, as a result of the National Security Legislation Amendment (Espionage and Foreign Interference) Act 2018 (the EFI Act) which was passed by Parliament on 28 June 2018, and received Royal Assent the following day.
The EFI Act amendments modernise and strengthen a range of espionage offences and introduces a number of new foreign interference laws, as well as a new aggravated offence for providing false or misleading information during a security clearance process.
This provides Australian law enforcement and security agencies the necessary powers to investigate and the option to pursue prosecution. Criminal charges and imprisonment are now possible consequences for actions that would previously been considered security incidents or breaches of administrative policy. The following information has been prepared to assist Security Officers when providing advice to the Defence workforce on how to meet their security obligations under the Protective Security Policy Framework (PSPF) and Defence Security Principles Framework (DSPF), as a result of the National Security Legislation Amendment (Espionage and Foreign Interference) Act 2018 (the EFI Act) and changes to the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth).