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.