Malcolm Turnbull says the ‘law of Australia’ will prevail over the ‘laws of mathematics’ in new legislation on encryption. But he is on shaky ground

The Australian government is proposing legislation, similar to that introduced in the UK, that will compel technology companies to provide access to users’ messages, regardless of whether they have been encrypted.

The attorney general, George Brandis, said on Friday: “What we are proposing to do, if we can’t get the voluntary cooperation we are seeking, is to extend the existing law that says to individuals, citizens and to companies that in certain circumstances you have an obligation to assist law enforcement if it is in within your power to do so.”

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