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Australian Law Would Force Tech Giants to Decrypt Messages

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The Australian government has proposed a new legislation Friday which could give law enforcement agencies access to encrypted messages sent by suspected terrorists and criminals, reads a report from ABC News.

In a press conference on Friday, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said the law would impose an obligation on technology companies to be able to provide Australian security agencies with access to encrypted user communications.

“We need to ensure that the internet is not used as a dark place for bad people to hide their criminal activities from the law,” Turnbull said.

Both he and Australian Attorney-General George Brandis have insisted they are not asking for “back doors” to be built into encryption software. Yet they have not detailed how their goal can be achieved otherwise.

The new law would be modeled on Britain’s Investigatory Powers Act, which was passed by the British Parliament in November and gave intelligence agencies some of the most extensive surveillance powers in the Western world, the government said.

The Australian bill that would allow courts to order tech companies to quickly unlock communications will be introduced to Parliament by November, officials said.

“The Australian Federal Police must have the powers – as do all our other intelligence and law enforcement agencies – to enforce the law online as well as offline,” the prime minister said.

Meanwhile, a Google spokesperson said the company has “always supported the work of law enforcement and intelligence agencies by promptly providing data in response to valid legal process and emergency disclosure requests.”

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  • SV650

    “The Australian bill that would allow courts to order tech companies to quickly unlock communications will be introduced to Parliament by November, officials said.”

    The linked article contains information about ING Bank, not a piece of legislation.

  • raslucas

    It’s so easy for politicians to introduce these bills. Pipe dreams! From a feasibility perspective it’s impossible. Either nobody can see the personal data of encrypted phones, or everybody could.

    They aren’t looking for a backdoor they are just looking for a way to get around the encryption when they ask for it… Maybe they don’t know what a backdoor even is?

  • fed up

    Laws made by politicians that do not understand the technology they are legislating. We aren’t talking about messages in sealed envelopes. If lawmakers can read my encrypted messages then hackers can read my encrypted information when I do my banking. WTF is wrong with these people? Using a hammer when a scalpel is required.

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