The Turnbull government is reportedly set to unveil legislation that will grant law enforcement the ability to pry into private conversations and messages in video games such as Call of Duty and Fortnite in order to stop terrorists.
The Nine News in Australia is reporting that the new bill will force technology companies to hand over private data of its users, and in particular those who use video game private messaging services to send communications. According to the Cyber Security Minister, Angus Taylor, the reason for the new legislation is to increase the law enforcement agencies’ abilities to crack down on “cyber crimes”, and they needed new powers in order to do so.
The excuse is that pedophiles, terrorists and organized criminals are using private messaging services from social media networks and video games to communicate with one another, and law enforcement want to be able to crack down on these communications and stop the alleged bad guys.
Taylor told news media outlets…
“We know that more than 90 per cent of data lawfully intercepted by the Australian Federal Police now uses some form of encryption.
“This has directly impacted around 200 serious criminal and terrorism-related investigations in the last 12 months alone,” […]
“These reforms will allow law enforcement and interception agencies to access specific communications without compromising the security of a network. The measures expressly prevent the weakening of encryption or the introduction of so-called backdoors.”
The article repeatedly states that this somehow won’t invade the privacy of common users, but they don’t say how. If a criminal is in a party chat and communicates with non-criminals through private messages, wouldn’t that mean law enforcement are still prying into the communications of non-criminals in order to spy on and read the messages of the alleged criminals?
Details on the legislation weren’t revealed in the piece, but they state that this will only be used for domestic telecommunication service providers in Australia. Obviously, though, online networks and gaming extend far beyond Australia’s jurisdiction, and one has to wonder how this will affect international users who may end up on the wrong end of Australia’s prolixity for cyber security.
(Thanks for the news tip descent3031)