Pre-Christ­mas cy­ber law rush

Kalgoorlie Miner - - NEWS - Can­berra

Fed­eral La­bor helped pass en­cryp­tion leg­is­la­tion be­fore the Christ­mas break, but Bill Shorten says he re­mains con­cerned about the con­tro­ver­sial laws.

The laws cleared the Se­nate on Thurs­day, af­ter La­bor agreed to pass them at the last minute.

Mr Shorten con­cedes the Bill was rushed, but is con­fi­dent the amend­ments will go through when Par­lia­ment re­sumes in Fe­bru­ary.

“There are le­git­i­mate con­cerns about the en­cryp­tion leg­is­la­tion,” the Op­po­si­tion Leader said yesterday.

“But I wasn’t pre­pared to walk away from my job and leave mat­ters in a stand-off and ex­pose Aus­tralians to in­creased risk in terms of na­tional se­cu­rity.”

At­tor­ney-Gen­eral Chris­tian Porter be­lieves Aus­tralia is a safer place be­cause of the laws that will now force tech com­pa­nies to help au­thor­i­ties snoop on en­crypted mes­sages.

“This en­sures that our na­tional se­cu­rity and law en­force­ment agen­cies have the mod­ern tools they need, with ap­pro­pri­ate au­thor­ity and over­sight, to ac­cess the en­crypted con­ver­sa­tions of those who seek to do us harm,” he said.

La­bor agreed to drop amend­ments it had wanted to make be­cause of na­tional se­cu­rity con­cerns around ter­ror threats over the hol­i­days.

La­bor said its sup­port was con­tin­gent on the gov­ern­ment amend­ing the new laws in Fe­bru­ary.

Gov­ern­ment Se­nate leader Mathias Cor­mann said the coali­tion sup­ported in-prin­ci­ple all of the amend­ments.

“The fo­cus yesterday was to se­cure the very im­por­tant en­cryp­tion laws, un­a­mended, through the Se­nate, and it was mis­sion ac­com­plished,” he said yesterday. The Law Coun­cil of Aus­tralia said se­ri­ous con­cerns re­main about the laws, which it be­lieves have been rushed and politi­cised.

Pic­ture: Ryan Pierse/Getty Im­ages

Op­po­si­tion Leader Bill Shorten.

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