Thursday, December 6, the Australian Parliament passed a bill requiring technology companies to provide law enforcement access to encrypted user data. According to Reuters, to date this is the most serious step taken in this direction in any Western government.

Technology companies like Google, Facebook and Apple, opposed the bill, fearing that the example of Australia followed by other countries. However, the document will come into force before the end of this year.

For many years law enforcement and security services are trying at the legislative level to oblige technology companies to give them access to encrypted user data. This applies in particular to States from the Alliance “Five eyes” (Five Eyes), a member of which also is Australia. After the introduction of the bill into force, Australia will be one of the first countries technogiant obliged to provide the authorities access to encrypted data.

The government believe that the law is necessary to ensure public security and combat organized crime. In any case, to gain access to personal data will have to first obtain an appropriate warrant.

Under the bill, failure to provide access to the requested data, the companies face a fine of up to $7.3 million, and individuals — prison time.

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