Australian Police Now Has The Power To Spy on WhatsApp Chats of Citizens
The controversial encryption bill comes at a time amid allegations of encrypted platforms facilitating spread of rumours, hate speech and even criminal activities like child trafficking and drugs businesses.
Australia is mulling a strict law that gives enforcement agencies power to track messages on platforms like WhatsApp and Telegram that offer end-to-end encryption and also to force users to open their smartphones when demanded, a media report said. The controversial encryption bill comes at a time amid allegations of encrypted platforms facilitating spread of rumours, hate speech and even criminal activities like child trafficking and drugs businesses.
In countries like India messages circulated in WhatsApp have been linked to several lynching cases, forcing the government to ask platform to take suitable preventive action. But the new Australia bill also raises privacy concerns as under the proposed legislation, the Australian government agencies could compel companies to build spyware.
The proposed laws could force companies to remove electronic protections, assist government agencies in accessing material from a suspect's device, and in getting technical information such as design specifications to help in an investigation, News.com.au reported on Wednesday. Critics have slammed the bill for being broad in scope, vague and potentially damaging to the security of the global digital economy, the report said, adding that a Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security has been scrutinising the bill.
The laws will help security agencies nab terrorists, child sex offenders and other serious criminals, Australia's Attorney-General Christian Porter was quoted as saying. About 95 per cent of people currently being surveilled by security agencies are using encrypted messages, he added. The spying powers are limited to only "serious offences" such as preventing terrorism and tackling organised crime in Australia, dailymail.co.uk reported.
Get the best of News18 delivered to your inbox - subscribe to News18 Daybreak. Follow News18.com on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Telegram, TikTok and on YouTube, and stay in the know with what's happening in the world around you – in real time.
Recommended For You
- Disha Vakani's Husband Mayur Pandya on Actress' Return to Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah
- Bigg Boss 13: Koena Mitra Accuses Salman Khan of Defending Wrong People
- Big Little Lies Actor Zoe Kravitz Joins Robert Pattinson's The Batman as Catwoman
- 15-year-old Coco Gauff Beat Jelena Ostapenko to Win First WTA Title at Linz
- Video of Pune Electric Bus Getting Charged Through a Diesel Generator Surfaces, Twitter Has a Field Day