Prime Minister Says The Laws Of Mathematics Are Trumped By Australian Law

PM announcing new laws to catch online terror

PM announcing new laws to catch online terror

Australia on Friday proposed new laws to compel companies such as US social media giant Facebook (FB.O) and device manufacturer Apple (AAPL.O) to provide security agencies access to encrypted messages.

The Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, who revealed further details of the new laws on 14 July, once again reiterated that the Government is not calling for tech companies to provide a backdoor for the encrypted messages on various platforms.

Tugging right at the hearts of everyday Australians, he went on to say "We need to ensure that the internet is not used as a dark place for bad people to hide their criminal activities from the law".

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said the new laws would give the government the same power over internet and tech companies as it now does over telecommunication companies, which are already required to hand over communications in some criminal investigations.

According to the government, online encryption affected 90% of priority cases investigated by Australia's national security agency.

"Where we can compel it, we will, but we will need the cooperation from the tech companies", he added.

"In the spring sittings of Parliament, the government will be bringing forward legislation which will. impose an obligation upon device manufacturers and upon service providers to provide appropriate assistance to intelligence and law enforcement on a warranted basis where it is necessary to interdict or in the case of a crime that may have been committed".

The UK Investigatory Powers Act became law late past year.

Speaking at a media conference, Turnbull said Australia's laws needed to apply "online as well as offline".

Asked by reporters how legislation would prevent users simply moving to encryption software not controlled by tech companies, Turnbull said Australian law overrode the laws of mathematics.

"All we're seeking to do is apply an existing principal to a new technology". Turnbull said "I'm not suggesting this is not without some difficulty" but hinted that in discussions at last week's G20 Leaders' Summit the participants agreed that member nations should be able to rely on colleagues to sort things out with companies resident in their respective jurisdictions. Police would need warrants to access the communications.

The legislation will be modelled on similar legislation in the United Kingdom, and allow authorities to obtain a warrant to compel companies to help them in their investigation.

"Encryption is vital for information security but the privacy of a terrorist must never trump the personal security of Australians", Mr Turnbull said.

"Weakening encrypted systems for them (police) would mean weakening it for everyone", a Facebook statement said on Friday.

"These are vitally important reforms created to keep Australians safe", he added.

Your Sydney-based correspondent looks forward to an attempt at repealing gravity so we can see if the laws of Australia override the laws of physics, too.

Attorney-General George Brandis said the first preference of Coalition was for companies to offer their help.

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