EFA chairperson Lyndsey Jackson said: “These laws will weaken security for all Australians by undermining the very technologies we use to keep us safe.
“Our financial, health, and other data will be more vulnerable to cyber-criminals should these laws be passed. We have to stand up for our own digital security.”
The draft law, released for public comment on 14 August, aims to force companies to companies and makers of digital devices to help law enforcement agencies gain access to data needed for investigating terrorism offences. Else, fines of up to $10 million will be levied on firms and up to $50,000 on individuals.
In a statement, EFA said the proposed laws greatly expanded the powers that law enforcement and other agencies had to gain access to private data of Australians.
This would undermined "the digital security they depend on to do their banking, buy things online, and to communicate with their friends. While the government attempts to characterise these new powers as not providing a ‘backdoor’ that is precisely what they do", the organisation said.
It said it was "greatly concerned by the wide powers granted by these laws, and the lack of independent oversight of their use".
"These laws represent yet another major reduction in Australians’ digital rights using scaremongering about terrorism and crime to justify more power in the hands of unaccountable government agencies."
EFA said that though it had joined with a number of other organisations to lobby the government against putting encryption at risk, it was now time for the people to raise their voices.