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Australia passes sweeping anti-encryption legislation, Australia/NZ News & Top Stories

Australia passes sweeping anti-encryption legislation, Australia/NZ News & Top Stories

CANBERRA (BLOOMBERG) – Australia’s parliament passed some of the world’s toughest anti-encryption legislation on Thursday (Dec 6), installing a Bill that seeks to force Facebook and other tech giants to help decode messages used in terrorism and organised crime.

In 2016, the UK gave authorities sweeping powers to hack, intercept and retain the communications of all British citizens, while China’s Cyber Security Law requires Internet operators to cooperate with criminal and national security investigations.

“There has been similar legislation in the UK and possibly a few other jurisdictions but their legislation doesn’t go anywhere near as far as what’s happening here,” said Mr Mark Gregory, an associate professor specialising in network engineering and Internet security at Melbourne’s RMIT University.

Lobby group Digital Rights Watch said “some extremely dangerous elements” of the Australian legislation had been addressed by the agreement between the government and the opposition.

“There are issues around transparency, accountability, oversight, and the potential and scope for misuse,” Ms Mann said.

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