Tech firms to join in fight against ter­ror

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - RE­NEE VIEL­LARIS

TECH gi­ants will be forced to un­lock ter­ror­ists’ deadly se­crets un­der con­tro­ver­sial new laws that will re­claim the ad­van­tage in the fight against ji­hadists.

Prime Min­is­ter Malcolm Turn­bull will today re­veal the Gov­ern­ment will give spooks and law en­force­ment agen­cies new pow­ers to ac­cess en­crypted mes­sag­ing.

The re­forms will en­sure Aus­tralia has sim­i­lar laws its Five Eyes al­liance coun­ter­parts — Canada, New Zealand, the United King­dom and the United States.

Out­dated laws are putting Aus­tralians at risk of a deadly ter­ror at­tack. Ad­vice from ASIO is that en­cryp­tion on the in­ter­net has af­fected tech­ni­cal in­tel­li­gence cover­age in at least one in 10 of its pri­or­ity cases.

In some cases it has taken a week to de­crypt mes­sages be­tween ter­ror­ists be­cause cur­rent laws were writ­ten be­fore the ex­plo­sion of so­cial me­dia plat­forms.

The new leg­is­la­tion will mod­ernise pow­ers for law en­force­ment agen­cies, but the re­forms’ first prin­ci­ples mean in­ter­net com­pa­nies, de­vice man­u­fac­tur­ers and so­cial me­dia plat­forms will be first asked to hand over en­crypted data.

It is un­der­stood the Gov­ern­ment wants tech com­pa­nies to take re­spon­si­bil­ity for the safety of Aus­tralians.

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