A new law that may be adopted by Australian parliament later this year would force companies like Facebook, Apple and Google to provide decrypted messages at the request of the police and spy agencies in order to help solve crimes and prevent terrorist attacks, according to the country’s Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.
“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. The Australian Federal Police must have the powers as do all our other intelligence and law enforcement agencies to enforce the law online as well as offline,” Turnbull was quoted as saying by SBS broadcaster while announcing the bill.
The measure may affect applications like Telegram, iMessage and WhatsApp, among others. The latter is owned by Facebook.
“We appreciate the important work law enforcement does, and we understand their need to carry out investigations. At the same time, weakening encrypted systems for them would mean weakening it for everyone,” a Facebook spokeswoman told the media, reacting to the initiative.
The bill will come to the parliament in August and can be approved within a few months after.