18th Oct 2018
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Bill will force you to reveal password or face jail
Author: Janelle Ward
Reveal your password or face jail

Are you happy to hand authorities the password to your smartphone or laptop on request?

Under a proposed new law, you could be fined $50,000 and face up to five years' imprisonment if you don’t.

Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton argues that the new law is needed to help police identify criminals hiding behind encryption technology. But civil libertarians say the changes go too far too soon, the Daily Mail is reporting.

“The bill is a draconian measure to grant law enforcement authorities unacceptable surveillance powers that invade Australians’ civil rights,” Liberal Democrats Senator David Leyonhjelm told the Daily Mail.

“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 legislation would require service providers to cooperate with law enforcement investigations, in some cases by building new tools to allow user security to be bypassed. And other countries could request Australian police to access data on your computer to help them in criminal investigations.

The bill would also impose additional obligations on domestic and foreign companies that supply services to Australia.

More than 14,000 submissions about the Telecommunications and Other Legislation Amendment (Assistance and Access) Bill 2018 had been received from concerned citizens and organisations, including Digital Rights Watch, the Human Rights Law Centre, Amnesty International and Access Now.

NSW’s Council of Civil Liberties is one group concerned the bill gives authorities too much power. Vice-president Lesley Lynch  said: “This is another extension of powers that go well beyond what is reasonable and necessary in a democracy.”

The Daily Mail reports that a software developer had his password-protected laptop and phone seized by Australian Border Force officers this year at Sydney Airport and did not know whether any files had been copied. He feared such actions could compromise his business.

Law Enforcement and Cyber Security Minister Angus Taylor says the Government does not want to undermine encryption, but require companies to take “reasonable steps” to assist law enforcement.

Do you think the proposed legislation goes too far? Are you happy to divulge your passwords to the authorities?

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    COMMENTS

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    Nerk
    18th Oct 2018
    10:25am
    Just be careful what you put into a phone or computer
    jackie
    18th Oct 2018
    11:56am
    This would never pass.
    MICK
    18th Oct 2018
    11:01am
    Here's the next chapter in what the current government is up to. Bit by bit it is forcing the police state onto citizens. First they hid the top end of town from scrutiny. Then they signed up for a Free Trade deal where they refused to divulge what was in it (companies can now sue our government!). Then they wanted to track private phones without a court order. And now it is fine/jail if you do not tell them your password?

    Welcome to the police state. By all means vote coalition is you wish but don't complain when you wake up one day and find yourself in the same position as China being monitored all day every day and having points allocated against who you see and what you spend your money on.
    cupoftea
    18th Oct 2018
    11:22am
    You are so right Mick now lets see what the LNP lovers on here have got say
    Bushbaby
    18th Oct 2018
    1:26pm
    My thoughts exactly! Thought police next? Or are they already here .....
    niemakawa
    18th Oct 2018
    4:09pm
    Mick, I have recently read a book by Clive Hamilton- THE SILENT INVASION - CHINA'S INFLUENCE IN AUSTRALIA. It features many of our present and past politicans from Liberals and Labour. It is an eye-opener.
    MICK
    18th Oct 2018
    8:24pm
    Sadly there are no laws for betrayal of the nation from the very top. That's why Abbott laughed when called out. He knew he was safe. So do all the others.
    Old Geezer
    18th Oct 2018
    11:13am
    I am not giving them mine because I don't have one.
    niemakawa
    18th Oct 2018
    4:02pm
    They will not believe you and go to your home/office and do a throrough search. Bend over OG.
    MICK
    18th Oct 2018
    4:08pm
    Herr OG is exempt. Card carrying party stoolie?
    Old Geezer
    18th Oct 2018
    4:40pm
    Good it is going to be interesting. I think my next trip is the China too.
    Knight Templar
    18th Oct 2018
    11:20am
    A court approved search warrant must be the minimum requirement. We must be certain that authorities seeking information on criminal activities do not broaden the scope of their investigations into unauthorised areas.
    niemakawa
    18th Oct 2018
    4:04pm
    Once any law is passed then the scope of investigations always increases. When mistakes are made all we will here from the politicians is the usual waffle, with an insincere apology.
    MICK
    18th Oct 2018
    4:10pm
    A court order should be the order of the day. This government wants absolute power and that is the real concern. When you have that............well you get another Hitler in progress.
    AutumnOz
    18th Oct 2018
    11:24am
    Yes the proposed legislation does go too far and No I am not happy with the requirement to divulge passwords. It is not only an invasion of privacy it is also a threat to the security of all citizens.
    Also if that bill is passed it could be very awkward for those Australians who do not own either a smartphone or laptop. We don't have either and there is no mention in the above article as to what happens when a non owner is asked for a password.
    Perhaps it is just another of Peter Dutton's odd requirements as he obviously doesn't understand or perhaps doesn't care how this could be misused against innocent Australians.
    Knight Templar
    18th Oct 2018
    4:31pm
    If the Telecommunications and Other Legislation Bill is passed and becomes law, it is unlikely that any future government, regardless of its political persuasion, will consider amending or repealing it.

    That is the problem. History shows that governments are loath to reduce their control over their citizens.
    margie
    18th Oct 2018
    11:33am
    How ridiculous, the law doesn't even jail the thugs running rampant in our streets, as if they would jail you for not giving your password. They would have to admit there was a law and order issue and we all know everything is rosy in the garden of Victoria in particular, and the rest of the 'law abiding' states are close behind.
    MICK
    18th Oct 2018
    4:10pm
    The law protecting crooked politicians would be unrelenting.
    Old Man
    18th Oct 2018
    11:57am
    I have nothing to hide nor do I have my 'phone password protected. If such legislation catches those who would do me or my family harm then I agree.
    MICK
    18th Oct 2018
    4:12pm
    Neither do I but I would be pretty unhappy at having public servants of all kind perusing my data just because they could. If you think that you'd only be checked if there was a suspicion of wrongdoing then you miss the obvious: people in power abuse their position.
    Cowboy Jim
    18th Oct 2018
    4:40pm
    Neither do I but I have to agree with Mick about my data being mine alone. Do not do any banking and do not run political stuff on the PC apart from participating on this forum. Occasionally I gave a comment about things in Europe on their website and that is about it. Do not miss the net when I am on holiday which is not too far away. Who knows we might have a new Govt when I come back. We did have a new PM when coming home from Ireland last month. Like Italy it seems.
    KSS
    18th Oct 2018
    12:51pm
    Since my password is actually my fingerprint, would it be OK to give them the 'finger'?
    Old Man
    18th Oct 2018
    12:58pm
    Thanks KSS, I enjoy a good laugh.
    ozirules
    18th Oct 2018
    12:59pm
    ha ha
    MICK
    18th Oct 2018
    4:13pm
    Please post to me with your bank account number. Don't bother if < $1000. Chuckle....
    PS Wash first.
    Cowboy Jim
    18th Oct 2018
    4:42pm
    Maybe that what happened to that bloke at the Saudi Embassy in Turkey, they started with his finger and could not stop.
    niemakawa
    18th Oct 2018
    5:37pm
    Make them swivel.
    cupoftea
    18th Oct 2018
    12:59pm
    As one person said to me he had more freedom in Poland when it was a communist state then what he has here and that was 10 years ago what would he think now
    ozirules
    18th Oct 2018
    1:02pm
    Isn't it your right to refuse to comment during a police interview or to say anything which may incrimminate you. If they make it mandatory to divulge possibly incrimminating evidence does not this contradict that right?
    MICK
    18th Oct 2018
    4:14pm
    Is that before or after they get out their batons?
    pedro the swift
    18th Oct 2018
    2:35pm
    What use is any privacy legislation. absolutely none if this goes through. Another nail in the coffin of our rights to privacy from a fascist gov.. This is something I would expect from 1933 Germany. Has Dutton been reading "Mein Kampf"? Seems thats where he is getting his ideas from.
    And we have the usual cries from the "if you have nothing to hide" crew. well, thats fine, give them your passwords and all other private info. but why should everyone be to forced at the whim of some to uniformed state official snooper.
    Cowboy Jim
    18th Oct 2018
    4:50pm
    Never read that book, should possibly get a copy to see what's coming towards me according to some people here.
    The danger here is that our possible enemies speak a different language and run rings around Aussies because nobody has ever learned a second language. They could talk about carving you up in front of you and you would just think - "what a lovely multi cultural place this is". Unfortunately some of Dutton's measures are necessary or at least becoming so.
    Used to live in Africa for 9 years and sadly this place is slowly becoming a mirror image. No in my lifetime but I can see the signs.
    auzie3136
    18th Oct 2018
    3:21pm
    This reminds me of the old film by George Orwell and Big Brother,they will be putting micro-chips into humans before long so they can control our every thought soon.
    niemakawa
    18th Oct 2018
    4:05pm
    I believe this is "their" intention.
    MjP
    18th Oct 2018
    3:40pm
    No, these measures should only be used with a court order and authorities must be forced to give a list of ant files copied or accessed
    niemakawa
    18th Oct 2018
    4:00pm
    Absolutely not. This is going a bit too far. I suppose one can always say they have forgotten their password. What will they do torture the recalictrant!
    shirboy
    18th Oct 2018
    4:27pm
    Are our pollies copying Herr Trump ????
    Triss
    18th Oct 2018
    5:06pm
    No, Herr Himmler.
    niemakawa
    18th Oct 2018
    5:34pm
    Freedom requires eternal vigilance!
    MICK
    18th Oct 2018
    8:22pm
    That it does indeed....and a media which is fair and balanced and does not have an agenda and does not run political propaganda to a particular party, any party, back into office.
    The planet is facing rule by corporations and bought lock stock and barrel governments. We have one. It is known as the Coalition. America has one. It is known as the Republican Party. Other countries the same.
    We ALL need to worry about the theft of democracy. That thought keeps me awake at night but many of my fellow citizens think this is a joke.
    Once gone freedom will not easily return and one just needs to look at the reign of Adolph Hitler to see the suffering which ensues.
    HKW
    18th Oct 2018
    5:42pm
    This is definitely an INVASION OF PRIVACY !!!!!!!!!!
    Time to get rid of all parties and party-dependent politicians !
    MICK
    18th Oct 2018
    8:23pm
    All parties or THE ONE BRINGING IN LAW AFTER LAW TO ATTACK FREEDOM AND DEMOCRACY?
    GrayComputing
    19th Oct 2018
    1:23am
    The psychopath power mad Dutton is now certifiable insane.
    He is a technical luddite and has no understanding how easily such "protection" schemes are and can be bypassed or faked by the baddies
    Baddies who are 10000.00% times smatter than Dutton and the current government and all our useless cyber protection departments combined
    ex PS
    23rd Oct 2018
    11:44am
    What next, government being able to intercept and ope our mail without having to have a reason. Will we let them listen into our phone calls on a whim, have we been transported back in time to Germany in the 1930's ? Hail SCOMO.


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