The Australian government adopted a controversial law requiring IT companies to provide law enforcement a means of gaining access to encrypted data. The requirement for including information that is protected by end-to-end encryption, reports “Bi-bi-si”.

The “act on the promotion and access” (The Access Assistance and Bill 2018) was adopted by the Australian Parliament on 6 December. The law introduces a mandatory requirement for local technology companies to gain access to encrypted customer data at the request of the authorities. If companies do not have the technical ability, they are required to create such a tool. In case of failure they could face a fine of up to $10 million Australian dollars (about $7.2 million USD).

Australia is a member of the “Five eyes” (Five Eyes), combining the intelligence agencies of several countries (USA, UK, Canada and New Zealand). In September, the club members have declared their right to “legitimate access” to private data, as encryption, in their opinion, allows terrorists and criminals to “hinder the investigation to avoid investigation and prosecution”.

Australia became the first member of the group, obliging IT to provide access to encrypted data on a legislative level. According to the authorities, this measure is necessary to protect citizens from terrorism and crime.

Legislative Council of Australia, human rights activists and big companies, including Apple, has criticized the government for the hasty adoption of “antiserotoninova” law. Apple has stated that encryption is protection from cyber-attacks and terrorism, and the new rules, by contrast, weaken the security of australiaw and jeopardize their personal information.

∎The US and its allies will deal with end-to-end encrypted see also

The draft document was submitted only in August, and the legislators had only the day before the vote to read the report of the parliamentary Committee. The result is the opposition labor party of Australia has decided to withdraw its 173 amendments to the law. Now they will be treated in early 2019.

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