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Asia Pacific Dashboard Digest | Australia passes controversial encryption law Related reading: Notes from the IAPP, May 24, 2019



On Thursday, Australia's Parliament passed a bill mandating that technology companies assist the nation's law enforcement to bypass encryption in private messaging apps, Fortune reports. The Assistance and Access Bill will force companies to build so-called backdoors, "but only if the backdoors don't constitute 'systemic weaknesses' in the service's security," the report states. The bill will need royal assent, which, according to the report, is expected before Christmas. The Labor party had tried to amend the bill, but, at the last minute dropped them and hopes to make amendments to the law next year, particularly with regard to defining the term "systemic weakness." Lizzie O'Shea, a human rights lawyer, said the bill will have global implications, contending that the U.S. and other allies want Australia to "lead the charge" in granting law enforcement access to encrypted data.
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