Australia will push \u201cthwarting the encryption of terrorist\nmessaging\u201d at a meeting of the Five Eyes nations in Canada this week.\nAttorney-General George Brandis and Minister for Immigration and\nBorder Protection Peter Dutton said the need for cooperation from service\nproviders regarding encryption will be raised as a \u201cpriority issue\u201d in the security\ntalks betweenAustralia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States.\n\u201cAs Australia\u2019s priority issue, I will raise the need to address\nongoing challenges posed by terrorists and criminals using encryption. These\ndiscussions will focus on the need to cooperate with service providers to\nensure reasonable assistance is provided to law enforcement and security\nagencies,\u201d Brandis said in a statement yesterday.\nAustralia is likely to gain cautious support from other Five Eye member nations. While many back the concept of compelling tech firms to give them access to encrypted data, it is yet unclear how this will work in practice.\nEach nation must also consider past embarrassments in the area, and likely kick-back from privacy advocates and technology companies.\nFour Eyes\u2019 view\nUS:\nBefore losing his position as FBI director, James Comey set out the position of\nthe US with regards to encryption, saying an international agreement between governments\ncould ease fears about IT products with government-mandated\nbackdoors.\n\u201cI could imagine a community of nations committed to the rule\nof law developing a set of norms, a framework, for when government access is\nappropriate,\u201d he said at an address at the University of Texas at Austin,\nin March.\nLast year, the FBI publiclyfeudedwith Apple over gaining\naccess to a locked iPhone from the San Bernardino shooter. Comey argued said\nthe tech industry can find an approach that creates government access, while\nkeeping malicious actors out.\nComey was dismissed by President Donald Trump in May.\nIn 2013, the NSA paid computer\nsecurity firm RSA $10 million in\nsecret to implement a \u201cback door\u201d into its encryption, a deal exposed in leaks made by Edward Snowden.\nCanada:\nIn March, Dominic Rochon, chief privacy officer of Canada\u2019s\nCommunications Security Establishment (CSE, comparable to the Australian\nSignals Directorate) said in a speech that terrorists were \u201cadaptive and tech-savvy\u201d and used \u201cpowerful encryption to\nbetter avoid detection\u201d.\nHowever, a recent national security federal consultation in\nthe country saw majority opposition to weakening encryption technology. \u201cIf\nencryption is weakened or outlawed, criminals will continue to have access to\nit and it is law-abiding citizens who will suffer. That is a bad outcome,\u201d the\nInformation Technology Association of Canada noted\nin its submission.\nUnited\nKingdom: UK Home Secretary Amber Rudd, speaking in the wake of a spate of\nterrorist attacks in the country, said that tech firms need\nto \u201climit the amount of end-to-end\nencryption that terrorists can use\u201d.\nThe\nUK has already passed its Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act which put\ninto law a requirement for technology providers to provide the government with a\nbackdoor into end-to-end encryption. However, the government is yet to detail\nhow the act will work in practice and how it will compel overseas providers to\ncomply.\nNew\nZealand: The government in New Zealand has not yet stated a firm position on expanding\nits powers around encryption. In\nFebruary, Andrew Hampton, director of New Zealand\u2019s Government\nCommunication\u2019s Security Bureau, spoke of the importance of the bureau\nbeing \u201ctransparent as possible\u201d and accountable for its actions.\nDispelling the myth that Five Eyes was a \u201cshadowy\nintelligence sharing partnership\u201d, Hampton said that it was\u201cjust not that shadowy\u201d.\n\u201cAs with all of our activities, any sharing of intelligence\nwith partners needs to be in accordance with New Zealand law and our\ninternational human rights obligations,\u201d he said.\nNot\na backdoor\nEarlier this month, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said that\nencrypted messaging apps were frequently used by \u201ccriminals and terrorists\u201d but\n\u201cat the moment, much of this traffic is difficult for our security agencies to\ndecrypt\u201d.\nIn a national security statement to the House\nof Representatives, Turnbull explained that the Five Eyes summit would be used\nto discuss how to prevent terrorists and criminals from operating \u201cwith\nimpunity in ungoverned digital spaces online\u201d.\n\u201cThis is not about creating or exploiting back doors, as some\nprivacy advocates continue to say, despite constant reassurance from us. It is\nabout collaboration with and assistance from industry in the pursuit of public\nsafety,\u201dhe added.