You could be fined $60,000 or put in prison if you refuse.
Limited Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton said encryption hurt national security and hid crime. People could face up to five years’ in jail if they do not give their laptop password or mobile phone PIN to the authorities under proposed changes to the law.
Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton introduced the new laws to the Parliament, saying they are needed to help police and spies catch criminals who are hiding behind encryption technology.
But civil libertarians say the changes go too far.
“The bill is a draconian measure to grant law enforcement authorities unacceptable surveillance powers that invade Australians’ civil rights,” said Liberal Democrats Senator David Leyonhjelm in an emailed statement to Daily Mail Australia.
“It appears that people who are not even suspected of committing a crime can face a fine of up to $50,000 and up to five years’ imprisonment for declining to provide a password to their smartphone, computer or other electronic devices.”
The penalty unit fine is actually more than $50,000 as the value of a penalty unit has recently been increased to $210.
Anybody who refuses to help the authorities crack a computer system when ordered will face up to five years jail.
If the crime being investigated is terrorism, the penalty for non-compliance is increased to 10 years’ jail or $126,000.
If Parliament passes the bill, tech companies will have to help authorities crack the encryption on users’ devices when told to help ━ or face up to $10 million in fines.
If anybody at the company tells anybody that they have been told to do it, they will face up to five years’ in jail.
This will give authorities access to your protected online information in the event of an investigation.
Under the legislation, foreign countries can also ask Australia’s Attorney General for police to access data in your computer to help them investigate law-breaking overseas.
For the bill to become law, it has to pass through three readings in the federal Parliament. It is now on its second reading.
More than 14,000 submissions of concern about the Telecommunications and Other Legislation Amendment (Assistance and Access) Bill 2018 have been received. ━ (Source: Daily Mail)