Apple and Australian government to discuss encrypted data access

Australian Attorney-General George Brandis will have a meeting with global technology giant Apple this week in order to try and reach an agreement on allowing intelligence and police agencies access to encrypted data from suspected criminals and terrorists.

An AAP report claims that Brandis said the Australian government will first try to get Apple’s ‘voluntary cooperation’ before taking further steps. Speaking to Sky News on Sunday, Brandis said: “We will also be legislating so that we do have that coercive power if need be if we don’t get the cooperation we seek. We will be pursuing both of these avenues.”

Officials say that the bill, which will allow Australian courts to compel technology firms to swiftly unlock communications, will be considered by the Parliament of Australian this November. Under the new legislation, internet firms will have no choice but to help law enforcement organisations — as is the case with telephone companies.

Malcolm Turnbull, the country’s Prime Minister, said that the government expected resistance from certain technology firms, particularly from U.S. companies. He added: “But the companies know morally they should cooperate. There is a culture, particularly in the United States, a very libertarian culture, which is quite anti-government in the tech sector.”

In other international news, Chinese customs officials in the city of Shenzhen near Hong Kong have arrested a female with no less than 102 iPhones crammed into her clothing. This is according to a report Brian Ashcraft wrote for Kotaku.

With Shenzhen being so close to Hong Kong, he says, over the years all kinds of smugglers have been arrested by customs officials in the city.

Ashcraft explains that officers became suspicious when they noticed a woman with a peculiarly bulging body and stopped her: “The officials searched her, discovering she was allegedly smuggling 102 iPhones of various models as well as 15 luxury wrist watches.”


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