Australian parliament agrees with “anti-encryption” legislation

Facebook and other tech companies can now be forced in Australia to help make the encrypted messages of suspects readable. That is the purpose of a bill that has been adopted in the Australian Parliament.

The law applies to Facebook (WhatsApp), but also to similar messaging services such as Signal and Telegram, writes Bloomberg. Companies can not only be forced to decipher the encrypted messages, they can also be required to inject code to tap data from suspects.

According to Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, the law is necessary because 95 percent of people who are monitored communicate via encrypted messages. Failure to introduce such a law would make the investigation and intelligence services ‘deaf’ and ‘blind’ in their investigation.

Several organizations, including Digital Rights Watch, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), BSA, Human Rights Watch, Australian Laws for Human Rights (ALHR) and the Australian Human Rights Commission have strongly criticized the bill.


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