Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is considering legislation that will put stronger obligations on major internet and technology companies such as Facebook to better assist with investigations into terrorism.
While the government will not seek to end the encryption of messages, it will look at measures that ensure technology companies must provide content and metadata to assist with investigations into suspected terrorists.
The Prime Minister will discuss this issue with other world leaders in Germany next week at a G20 meeting. The move comes as security agencies raise fears they are being blocked from obtaining potentially life-saving data and information.
As Prime Minister Turnbull prepares for this meeting, Attorney-General George Brandis and Immigration Minister Peter Dutton travelled to Ottawa on Sunday for meetings with Five Eyes counterparts.
Brandis and Minister Dutton will attend the Five Country Ministerial (FCM) on national security. Brandis will also attend the Quintet meeting of Attorneys-General.
"As the Prime Minister said ... the use by terrorists of cyber space is an issue of critical concern to intelligence and law enforcement agencies. Australia will lead the discussion of ways to address this issue; in particular the involvement of industry in thwarting the encryption of terrorist messaging," Brandis said.
"We all share the global challenges of terrorism, foreign fighters and protecting our borders. The next two days will provide us with an opportunity to share our experiences and learn from our partners in the United Kingdom, Canada, New Zealand and the United States.
"As Australia’s priority issue, I will raise the need to address ongoing challenges posed by terrorists and criminals using encryption. These discussions will focus on the need to co-operate with service providers to ensure reasonable assistance is provided to law enforcement and security agencies."
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