Encryption just like many tools in life, can be used for good and bad things. For example it is used to help protect hackers from intercepting your messages, credit card numbers, emails, and more. However encryption can also be viewed negatively as it can be used by the bad guys to send messages and information that law enforcement cannot access.
This has been a point of contention amongst law enforcement agencies around the world, who feel that tech companies who use encryption in their consumer products are making it hard to stop the bad guys. However it seems that over in Australia, the country’s parliament has passed a bill which many refer to as the “anti-encryption law” which will basically force tech companies to help decrypt private messaging apps.
Dubbed the Assistance and Access Bill, this will require companies such as WhatsApp and Signal to build backdoors into their programs that will give law enforcement access to contents of messages in the event that they require it. This was a similar request that the FBI had asked of Apple, in which the company refused resulting in law enforcement agencies being forced to seek outside help.
In fact Apple had actually submitted a detailed letter to the Australian government objecting to the law back in October, but it seems that their warnings went unheard. Unsurprisingly security experts around the world are mostly against such backdoors, with the idea being that if law enforcement can access it, who’s to say hackers won’t be able to eventually find it either?