Cybersecurity Bill comments deadline extended yet again

You have until this Thursday to submit comments on the Cybersecurity Bill

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What with all the attention this afternoon’s #NoConfidenceVote is getting, you might think there’s not much else in Parliament that’s worthy of your attention.

And you’d be wrong.

Today, we picked up on the news that the deadline for the public to comment on the Cybercrimes and Cybersecurity Bill has been extended yet again. The original deadline was 28 July – the end of last month. Turns out that the Portfolio on Justice and Constitutional Development has pushed the deadline to 10 August 2017.

Yes, that’s right, it’s this Thursday, so if this information didn’t hit your radar before now, you have the rest of today, tomorrow (a public holiday) and Thursday to make your comments known.

Here’s the funny thing: we’ve been following this story for quite some time now and even we didn’t know this deadline had been extended.

“The change was publicised,” says Michalson’s associate Nick Hall. “But there’s no formal statement about this and we don’t know why this deadline was extended.

“The extension happened without much fanfare, which is rather odd,” he added.

“Normally, I would expect there to be a formal statement from the committee about the reasons for the extension, but this hasn’t happened,” says Hall. “It could be that the committee felt the response it got for comment too insufficient, or that the public needs more time to get to grips with the details of the bill.”

Whatever the case, we strongly urge our readers to speak up and make their comments known. If you want a primer on why this bill is particularly important, Nick Hall was kind enough to appear on our podcast to talk us through the important problems with it a couple of weeks ago.

We’d like to warn you in advance that if you decide to listen to the podcast, the Orwellian nature of some aspects of the bill may have you needing a stiff drink afterwards.