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Pause needed in passage of decryption legislation

"We urge all political parties to avoid the temptation of pushing the proposed decryption legislation too quickly through the Parliament," Ai Group Chief Executive, Innes Willox, said today.

"This Bill requires further consultation to ensure its potentially broad impacts are tested by exposure to a cross-section of industry and the broader community.

"Those who question the Bill as it is drafted are clearly not opposed to its national security requirements and should not be condemned for raising legitimate concerns about its implications and reach. Indeed, Ai Group works closely with the Government and its agencies on improving Australia's cyber security.

"The impacts of the proposed legislation could extend well beyond multinational technology businesses, and well beyond what appears to have been intended.

"Encryption of communications and information passed between businesses and their customers is fundamental and there is a clear risk that the measures in the Bill could weaken the security of these businesses. It could make them more vulnerable to hacking and undermine trust between business and their customers.

"There needs to be a pause for breath in this legislative debate. This would allow more time for the Government, the Opposition and all relevant stakeholders to constructively work together to fully assess the impact of this Bill and to identify improvements that should be made," Mr Willox said.  

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