News 7 december — 19:29

Tech companies slam new Australian law allowing police to spy on smartphones

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Facebook and other tech companies are warning about the privacy risks from a new Australian law that gives government agencies the power to demand access to encrypted messaging services such as iMessage and WhatsApp, CNN reports.

Lawmakers voted in favor of the Telecommunications Access and Assistance Bill late Thursday. The government argues the new measures will help police and security agencies combat serious offenses such as terrorist attacks and child sex crimes.

But tech companies and civil liberties groups say it's a dangerous overreach that will affect a wide range of businesses and their customers.

It will have "far-reaching consequences" for the privacy and security of encrypted platforms like WhatsApp and Google (GOOGL), and device manufacturers like Apple (AAPL), Microsoft (MSFT) and Samsung, Ben McConaghy, a Facebook spokesman, told CNN ahead of Thursday's vote.

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