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Overseas Tech Outfits Must Go Along With Oz Encryption Laws

US and Europe-based technology companies operating in Australia have been warned that Australia’s new laws to enforce encryption of suspect material will apply to them, despite the lack of such laws in their homelands.

Refusal by such companies to assist in encryption-cracking exercises could see them facing a maximum penalty of A$10  million, according to a spokeswoman for Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton.

“Companies which provide their technologies for use in Australia are subject to Australian laws,” she said.

“Companies that do not comply with a technical assistance notice or technical capability notice will face a maximum penalty of $10 million.”

Law enforcement agencies will henceforth have the power to ask a company to help voluntarily –  or force the company to provide assistance if the assistance is not immediately forthcoming.

Agencies that have been given the new powers are ASIO, the Australian Secret Intelligence Service, the Australian Signals Directorate, Australian Federal Police, Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission and state and territory police.

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