Australian Law Enforcement Could Access Encrypted Messages

A new law is being proposed in Australia which would allow law enforcement organisations to request encrypted data from major tech companies.

The bill is called The Telecommunications and Other Legislation Amendment (Assistance and Access) Bill 2018. It would require companies to decrypt data before providing them to the authorities, to help with policing crime.

Google, Facebook and Twitter are just a few of the organisations that will be affected.

At the moment the bill is still being drafted, but encrypted messaging apps (WhatsApp), e-mail accounts and physical storage devices could all be available for decryption.

Angus Taylor is the Minister for Law Enforcement and Cyber Security in Australia. He explained to CNET: “We must ensure our laws reflect the rapid take-up of secure online communications by those who seek to do us harm.

“These reforms will allow law enforcement and interception agencies to access specific communications without compromising the security of a network. The measures expressly prevent the weakening of encryption or the introduction of so-called backdoors.”

The government wants to make sure that the public know that the security of their data will not be compromised.

The companies will build capabilities into its system which will allow law enforcement to access the decryptions when necessary, rather than weakening the whole network.

In 2020, California’s new data privacy laws will come into effect. They are expected to be some of the toughest privacy laws in the USA.

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