MELBOURNE, Australia — Australia’s prime minister says new Australian cybersecurity laws that force global technology companies such as Facebook and Google to help police by unscrambling encrypted messages sent by extremists and other criminals were urgently needed to safeguard the nation.
The legislation was passed by the Senate late Thursday, the last day the Parliament sat in 2018.
The opposition Labor Party agreed to support the legislation as an emergency measure because extremists are expected to target Christmas-New Year crowds. But Labor Party lawmakers have said they want amendments passed when Parliament resumes.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison described Labor’s decision to support the laws as a concession.
Morrison told Nine Network television on Friday: “This was very important legislation to give police and security agencies the ability to get into encrypted communications.”