Page 36 - Australian Defence Magazine November 2019
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sage of that information to a number of limited bandwidth classified pathways. A national IME would also need to address such bottlenecks.
Is the technology to support a national IME in existence or under development? What are the impediments? When con- sidering a national IME model, we do need to consider what components need to be sovereign? As in which elements need to be owned by Australian companies, and which functions need to be operated by Austra- lian citizens? The Government’s decision to exclude Huawei from building parts of our 5G networks is an excellent example of this thinking in Government.
Current and emerging technologies in the commercial sector offer numerous op- tions to consider. Telstra’s Software De- fined Network (SDN) architecture is an example that is being deployed. As Telstra states, “unlocking the full potential of those (new digital) services requires an agile net- work to match ... Telstra states that their Programmable Network provides secure, flexible and on demand connectivity to vir- tual network services around the globe ... through ... an SDN platform.”
This is an interesting example of com- mercial state of the art technology that is more advanced than current Defence hub and spoke network architecture. Austra- lian developed encryption technologies could also permit the use of multiple, in- dependent, commercial, as well as mili- tary, pathways for communications and information.
There appears to be sovereign capabilities that could be the foundation for a sovereign IME. However, we need to be mindful of the Defence experience, in that piecemeal decisions focussed on components our na- tional infrastructure will not be sufficient.
Next Steps
We need to have a framework or context under which we design such an IME. The framework model that Defence purports to use of Strategy, Concept and Plan could be a good starting point. So, what are the roadblocks?
Firstly, the lack of a National Security Strategy is the most obvious impediment to developing a National IME. We had a National Security Strategy in 2013 but it has since faded from view to be replaced by stove piped, reactive, security policies rather than a coherent Whole of Govern- ment approach.
Secondly, we need to develop a concept
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