Australia flags crackdown on encrypted communication ahead of "Five Eyes" meeting

Source: Xinhua| 2017-06-07 10:36:31|Editor: Hou Qiang
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CANBERRA, June 7 (Xinhua) -- Attorney-General George Brandis said Australia would be pushing its "Five Eyes" intelligence partners this month to crack down on encrypted technology in the global fight against terrorism.

Brandis said Australia would list the issue as a top agenda item at a meeting of the "Five Eyes" alliance, which comprises Australia, United States, United Kingdom, Canada and New Zealand, in Canada at the end of June.

Speaking to the Australian media on Tuesday night, Brandis said encrypted Internet communication was the biggest challenge facing law enforcement and security agencies around the world.

Brandis called upon telecommunications companies, social media outlets and Internet giants to cooperate with authorities on terrorism investigations, saying they had a "corporate social responsibility" to help combat terrorist activity.

"If those encrypted communications contain information which is necessary to a prosecution, an intelligence task like keeping a terrorism suspect under appropriate surveillance, then there does need to be a level of co-operation from the carriage services providers," Brandis said on Tuesday.

Earlier, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said that there was too much tolerance of extremist material online.

Turnbull met with telcos, Facebook and other companies last week in Canberra as part of the federal government's cyber security agenda.

"The other area where we need these global social media and messaging companies to assist, is in providing access to encrypted communications which are used by billions of people, of course, and applications like WhatsApp and so forth and Apple iMessenger, but our security services need to be able to get access to them," Turnbull told a media conference.