LABOR TO FIX THE MORRISON GOVERNMENT’S BROKEN ENCRYPTION LAWS

MICHELLE ROWLAND MP.
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2 months ago
LABOR TO FIX THE MORRISON GOVERNMENT’S BROKEN ENCRYPTION LAWS
MICHELLE ROWLAND MP
It’s been one year since the Morrison Government promised to amend their encryption legislation and now Labor is taking action, standing up for our technology industry and, most importantly, Australian jobs.
 
The Telecommunications and Other Legislation Amendment (Assistance and Access) Bill 2018 passed the Parliament with Labor’s support on the condition that the Government would support Labor’s amendments upon the resumption of Parliament in 2019.
 
“I also confirm that the Government has agreed to facilitate consideration of these amendments in the New Year in Government business time. Finally, I also confirm that the Government supports, in principle, all amendments that are consistent with the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security (PJCIS) recommendations in relation to this bill. This will facilitate this bill becoming law without amendment, and I do support it on that basis.”  – Senator Mathias Cormann, 6 December 2018
 
The Morrison Government have broken their promise to Australia’s tech sector and by failing to amend their encryption laws – putting a handbrake on the digital economy, and hindering the creation of jobs, productivity and growth of the economy.
 
Some customers are less likely to seek out contracts with Australian technology companies due to a widespread perception that Australia’s encryption laws may require them to introduce systemic weaknesses into their systems.
 
As Malcolm Turnbull said recently, innovation “isn’t in Scott Morrison’s comfort zone” and Australian workers and businesses shouldn’t have to wait any longer.
 
This is why Labor is repairing the Morrison Government’s encryption laws by introducing legislation based on bipartisan recommendations of the PJICS – those agreed to by Liberal Committee members and promised by Mathias Cormann a year ago.
 
Worse still, the Government’s encryption legislation are not compliant with the US CLOUD Act – making it harder for Australian law enforcement to quickly access the information they need to fight crime, making Australia a more dangerous place to live.
 
To address these concerns, Labor’s amendments will introduce a judicial authorisation requirement to provide assurances to the United States Congress that Australia’s laws are compatible with the US Government’s CLOUD Act.
 
Labor’s Private Senator’s Bill – Telecommunications Amendment (Repairing Assistance and Access) Bill 2019 – will be introduced to the Senate tomorrow and debated in the New Year.
 
The Government should put partisan politics aside and support this Bill, in both the House and the Senate, in order to honour the commitment that they made to the Parliament last year, and fix the mess they created for Australian innovation and technology businesses.
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