The ability of Australia’s law enforcement and security agencies to access encrypted communications will be strengthened under a bill passed by the Parliament. The Telecommunications and Other Legislation Amendment (Assistance and Access) Bill 2018 will provide additional powers and time for law enforcement agencies, including Australian Border Force and the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation, to access data held on electronic devices, such as computers and mobile phones.
Introducing the bill in the House of Representatives, the Attorney-General, the Hon Christian Porter MP, said, ‘Encryption is a vital part of the internet, computer and data security, supporting Australia's economic growth and national security. However, we would be naive to think that digital technologies which drive our economic prosperity are immune to exploitation.’
The bill was supported by the opposition but opposed by some crossbenchers in both chambers, including the Australian Greens and Centre Alliance.