Federal Coalition, Labor strike deal allowing authorities greater access to encrypted messages

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Updated

December 04, 2018 16:39:41

New powers to allow police and intelligence agencies to intercept encrypted messages are expected to pass Federal Parliament this week.

Key points:

  • Authorities have warned 95 per cent of people watched by domestic spy agencies are using encrypted messaging apps
  • Shadow Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus said the Coalition had made a number of concessions
  • He said the deal will improve oversight and accountability to prevent unintended consequences

The Coalition and Labor have been locked in negotiations over the legislation for weeks, but it appears an in-principle agreement has been reached that addresses Opposition concerns.

Federal Labor was worried the legislation was too broad and wanted to constrict the powers to federal law enforcement agencies, rather than state police.

The Federal Government has warned that 95 per cent of people watched by Australia’s domestic spy agencies are using encrypted messaging apps.

Shadow Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus said the Coalition had made a number of concessions to improve oversight and accountability.

“It appears the Government will agree to proposals by Labor that will ensure there is better oversight and limitation of the powers in this bill, and better safeguards against potential unintended consequences,” Mr Dreyfus said in a statement.

“Let me be clear — this bill is far from perfect and there are likely to be significant outstanding issues.

“But this compromise will deliver security and enforcement agencies the powers they say they need over the Christmas period, and ensure adequate oversight and safeguards to prevent unintended consequences while ongoing work continues — just as Labor proposed.”

More to come.

Topics:

federal-government,

government-and-politics,

australia

First posted

December 04, 2018 16:25:10



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