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Tech Giants Will Be Forced To Hand Over Customer Data Under New Counter-Terror Laws

Tougher tracking on terrorists

Tech Giants Will Be Forced To Hand Over Customer Data Under New Counter-Terror Laws

Pic: Getty

Tech giants like Apple and Facebook will be forced to unlock encrypted messages from terrorists and hand the data over to Australia's spy agencies, under new laws being tabled by the Turnbull government.

The legislation with also give our authorities stronger powers to remotely track the phones of jihadis and child abusers, and crack down on tech companies unwilling to assist them.

Right now, information can be obtained by telecommunication companies, but not internet companies because the laws were written up well before social media became so popular.

"We cannot allow the internet to be used as a place for terrorists and child molesters and people who peddle child pornography and drug traffickers to hide in the dark," Mr Turnbull told Seven's Sunrise program on Friday morning.

Apple were very against similar laws being implemented in the US, but Turnbull said he doesn't think we'll have the same problem in Australia.

"In America, there is a very strong libertarian, anti-government sense. Remember the San Bernardino terrorist case and Apple wouldn't unlock the phone but the FBI managed to force them to do otherwise."

"But really, the message we secured from the G20 - and Australia took the lead in this - the rule of law must prevail online as well as offline and we expect those big internet companies to ensure that their platform, wonderful and magnificent and ingenious as they are, can't be used by people to hide their plots, to commit acts of terror or commit criminal acts."

Turnbull also insists the government isn't giving intelligence agencies "back doors or anything underhand".

ASIO claims encryption on the internet has affected technology intelligence coverage in at least nine out of ten of its priority cases.

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