The Australian Government has passed a new legislation which would allow Law enforcement authorities to pressurize tech companies to hand over Users information even if it’s protected by end-to-end encryption. It is a new Assistance and Action Bill 2018 that’s been criticized by Apple and other tech Giants. All the companies argued the anti-encryption law would weaken the data privacy of all Australians and it might comprise the data of companies, citizens, and societies around the world.
The human rights lawyer Lizzie O’Shea said explains that creating tools to weaken Encryption for one purpose weakens it for all purposes. These tools are made to intercept Encrypted messages between the suspected terrorists undermine the digital security of anyone.
“The truth is that there is simply no way to create tools to undermine encryption without jeopardizing digital security and eroding individual rights and freedoms. Hackers with bad intentions will do their utmost to take advantage of any such tools that companies are forced to provide the government, said Lizzie.”
She also explains that once this policy passes it would become easy for the Australian Government to share them with their counterparts in allied nations. Australia is a part of Five eyes intelligence sharing pact which includes Britain, Canada, New Zealand, and the United States. Apple argued against this Anti-encryption Bill saying that it is a defense against cyber attacks and terrorism.
On the other hand, the Australian Government said the powers are necessary to defend citizens against crime and terrorism. Moreover, the legislation will give three powers to law enforcement agencies, the first two are Technical Assistance Notices and Technical Capability Notices. It is compulsory and needs companies to grant access to encrypted data, Companies can receive penalties up to $10 million AUD if they do not comply with Notice.
The third is a Technical Assistance Request, which is a voluntary version of the first two powers it does not need to be reported publicly.