Home Affairs boss Mike Pezzullo has decried the “demonically evil” dark web amid a push for greater powers to fight online crime.
The Morrison government is considering giving the nation’s top cyber spooks the power to spy on Australians.
Mr Pezzullo warned a Senate estimates hearing in Canberra on Monday about the dangers of the dark web.
“While connectivity is a positive force for global interaction and prosperity, in the shadowy creases of the surface web lies the demonically evil phenomenon known as the dark web,” he told the committee.
“The only way to hunt and disrupt on the dark web is to better use the lawful capabilities of our law enforcement and technical intelligence functions in closer partnership and under strict oversight.”
The home affairs secretary alluded to ministers considering a proposal to allow the Australian Signals Directorate to have domestic powers.
He also said his department was working on a new cybersecurity strategy, foreshadowing a government announcement in the near future.