Peter Dutton is pressuring a committee that is dealing with new laws targeted at encrypted messaging to cut short its public hearings. The Home Affairs minister is renewing his push for greater police access to encrypted communications following a foiled terrorist attack in Melbourne. Police said the three men who were charged with terrorism offences on Tuesday were using an encrypted messaging tool. Dutton has urged the Liberal-chaired Joint Parliamentary Committee on Intelligence and Security to speed up its deliberations on the proposed Assistance and Access Bill . “I would like the committee to deal with it as quickly as possible,” he told Sky News on Wednesday. “I have spoken to [chair] Andrew Hastie about ways in which the committee can deal with this in an expeditious way so that the parliament can deal with it as soon as possible.” Hastie said the matter was urgent but the committee was still in the middle of the inquiry process. “We’ve taken quite a bit of evidence and we’ll bring that to a conclusion soon,” Hastie said. See: OAIC calls for sunset clause on encryption-busting Bill and warns of privacy risks Despite Dutton’s insistence, the chances of the bill being passed before the end of the year appear slim. The committee is due to hold three more public hearings, on November 27, November 30, and December 3 just two days before parliament rises for the year. Shadow Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus, who is on the committee, said the process should be given as… [Read full story]
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