Australia bans encryption, the first Western nation to do so. Its parliament recently passed a bill that forces companies to give encrypted data to police upon demand. Companies also have to build tools to bypass encryption (via Reuters).
Law < Math
The lower house of parliament passed the bill last Thursday. It was supposed to be debated in the upper Senate but in a last-minute twist it was passed a bit early, on the grounds that amendments be agreed upon next year.
Companies can be fined up to A$10 million (US$7.3 million) and individuals can be thrown in prison if they don’t hand over data linked to suspected illegal activities. Australia says these laws are needed to counter terrorism and organized crime. But everyone else says it’s harmful.
Other countries in the Five Eyes alliance—including the United States—are sure to closely watch how it unfolds.