The bill would allow courts to order tech companies to quickly unlock communications
Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull raises his hands as he speaks during a leaders debate hosted by Facebook Australia and News.com.au in Sydney, Friday, June 17, 2016, photo: Pool/Lukas Coch via AP
14 of July 2017 12:19:50
CANBERRA – The Australian government on Friday proposed a new cybersecurity law to force global technology companies such as Facebook and Google to help police by unscrambling encrypted messages sent by suspected extremists and other criminals.But some experts, as well as Facebook, warned that weakening end-to-end encryption services so that police could eavesdrop would leave communications vulnerable to hackers.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.
Attorney-General George Brandis described the growth of encrypted communication applications such as WhatsApp, Signal, Facebook Messenger and iMessage as "potentially the greatest degradation of intelligence and law enforcement capability that we have seen in our lifetime."Brandis said he met the British government's chief cryptographer last week and believed it was technically possible to decode encrypted messages in a time frame that police needed to act.This could be achieved without so-called back doors — built-in weaknesses that allowed a tech company access to a communication but could also leave it vulnerable to hackers, Brandis said.Facebook said it had a protocol to respond to requests for police help. But the social media giant said it could not read individual encrypted messages."Weakening encrypted systems for them [police] would mean weakening it for everyone," a Facebook statement said on Friday.
We are doing everything we can online, as we do offline, to keep Australians safe from those who seek to do us harm. pic.twitter.com/FZW2Y8UycS— Malcolm Turnbull (@TurnbullMalcolm) 14 de julio de 2017