Australia to compel chat apps to hand over encrypted messages

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SYDNEY: Social media giants like Facebook and WhatsApp will be compelled to share encrypted messages of suspected terrorists and other criminals with Australian police under new laws unveiled Friday. It comes after Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull warned encrypted messages were increasingly being used by terrorists, drug traffickers and pedophile rings, calling for legislation to be modernized to allow police to do their jobs. Australian authorities can currently obtain information from telecommunications companies, but not Internet firms that use data encryption to guarantee user confidentiality. Encryption essentially involves complex algorithms scrambling data to make it indecipherable until unlocked by its owner or when it reaches its destination.

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The laws will be introduced into parliament by the end of the year.

AFP

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