The Australian government is looking to combat terrorism and other criminals using the internet. With new laws planned to force internet world giants like Facebook and Google to give the Australian government access to encrypted files, suspected terrorists and criminals will have a smaller world to thrive in.
ABC reports the next step in the battle against terrorism and crime in Australia. Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull notes that the laws had not kept up with the technological advancements we have access to. The new law will be similar to the Investigatory Powers Act in Britain which forces companies to cooperate with the government during investigations.
Attorney-General George Brandis says that if the laws are passed, it could help with various criminal networks including those that cater to pedophiles, organized criminals and terrorism. With major terrorist groups like ISIS recruiting through the internet, this law could prove to be formidable in the fight against terrorism and crime.
When explaining what the law exactly does, Brandis says, “what this does is merely contemporise for the modern era what is a well-established legal principle and that is persons, including companies, can be subject to an obligation to assist law enforcement in solving crimes.”
While the law is indeed a good step into fighting terrorism and crime, social media giant Facebook warned that weakened systems aren’t entirely good. If they weaken the encryption in Australia, they’ll have to weaken the encryption of the entire world.
A spokesman for Facebook says, “we appreciate the important work law enforcement does and we understand their need to carry out investigations. That’s why we already have a protocol in place to respond to requests where we can.”
If this law proves to be successful in Australia like it did in Britain, other countries could follow suit soon afterwards.