Monday, 26 June 2017 09:01

Australia to push Five Eyes to block crypto use by terrorists Featured

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Australia will use a meeting this week to try and get the co-operation of its partners in the Five Eyes alliance to "thwart" the use of encryption by terrorists.

Attorney-General George Brandis and Immigration Minister Peter Dutton are attending the meeting which is being held in Ottawa.

In the wake of the recent terrorist incidents in the UK, British Prime Minister Theresa May and her Australian counterpart, Malcolm Turnbull, have both called for curbs on encryption.

However, the IT Professionals Association, a group of technically qualified workers, has argued against this approach, saying such a move was completely unworkable.

The Greens have slammed Turnbull for his statements, with the party's deputy leader Senator Scott Ludlam calling it a "knee-jerk" reaction.

In a statement issued on Sunday, Senator Brandis said: "As the prime minister said yesterday, the use by terrorists of cyber space is an issue of critical concern to intelligence and law enforcement agencies.

"Australia will lead the discussion of ways to address this issue; in particular the involvement of industry in thwarting the encryption of terrorist messaging.

"We all share the global challenges of terrorism, foreign fighters and protecting our borders. The next two days will provide us with an opportunity to share our experiences and learn from our partners in the United Kingdom, Canada, New Zealand and the United States."

“As Australia’s priority issue, I will raise the need to address ongoing challenges posed by terrorists and criminals using encryption. These discussions will focus on the need to co-operate with service providers to ensure reasonable assistance is provided to law enforcement and security agencies.”

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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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