SA Cops Want To Force You To Give Up Your Passwords

SA Cops Want To Force You To Give Up Your Passwords
To sign up for our daily newsletter covering the latest news, hacks and reviews, head HERE. For a running feed of all our stories, follow us on Twitter HERE. Or you can bookmark the Lifehacker Australia homepage to visit whenever you need a fix.

Police in South Australia are looking for the right to compel users to give up passwords to computers in order to access encrypted information. With the federal government already looking for ways to force tech companies to unlock devices, it seems that things are escalating when it comes to the rights for law enforcement to access our devices.

South Australia’s Attorney-General John Rau said “It is crucial that the criminal law keeps pace with changes in society and new ways of offending. The reforms proposed by the government are a response to technological advances and the new way in which crimes, especially the sexual exploitation and abuse of children, are being committed.”

According to the draft laws, the aim will be to support investigations into serious and organised crime. But given the way such things can escalate, it’s not hard to see police compelling people to unlock devices for people accused of recreational drug use or minor offences.

Encryption looms as the next big battlefield when it comes to law enforcement. And state governments seem emboldened by the stance of their federal counterparts.


  • Waiting for the first person to say “well if you have nothing to hide”.
    This is not going to fly, seems they are pushing the boundaries to see how much they can get away with. Stand up people! stand up now!

  • Im fine with this provided the police have a warrant. What i am not okay with is being pulled over for something completely different and police demanding access to your smartphone or something similar.

    • this is what my problem with this would be. why do they need access to your computer if they are there to bust you for pot or drink driving or any similar offence that has nothing to do with digital correspondence. but you can bet your ass they will want access to it all regardless.

      • We have already seen problems with un-warranted access like this in the US where US police officers pull someone over for a minor infraction, Demand access to their phone and give them even more fines just coz. Im glad at least Australian police arent window licking morons like US police forces. Look up Civil forfeiture. Police in the US can confiscate anything they want from you if they believe its going to be/ Has been used in a crime.

  • SA police, and all police in Australia already have this power. They can already go to a judge and obtain a warrant.

    I don’t care if it’s terrorists or people looking at kiddy porn being used as an excuse (because the sheep see these two and nod gormlesslessly as their rights are stolen), the police cannot have more than this.


  • So what happens if instead of giving them the password you give them a duress code that wipes the entire machine?

    • I’m not a lawyer but I’m pretty sure that would be failing to comply with a direction by the police and lead to other legal issues.

Show more comments

Comments are closed.

Log in to comment on this story!