up to 10 years imprisonment for defendants who refuse to unblock their phones
Security of electronic devices is an increasingly controversial subject in recent years, and authorities are always trying to put pressure on producers to extract data from offenders' computers or phones. Australia, however, seems to be the most vehement country, proposing a bill to force companies to unlock devices, while users could risk years of imprisonment in the case of refusal
The Australian Assistance and Access Bill bill has recently been published to test public opinion and involves all companies related to electronic or telecommunication devices. Thus both smartphone or computer manufacturers and their trading companies or telecom operators are covered by the new legislation. In practice, when it is necessary to extract information from a device, the authorities may request the help of any entity that was directly or indirectly related to it.
Companies that have a official presence in Australia would be legally required to provide technical assistance for accessing encrypted information by any of the possible methods. If there are decryption keys, they should be handed over, while communications made on that device by unencrypted methods could be accessed using the history retained by telecom operators. The law does not oblige companies to leave loose openings in software, the famous "backdoor". The law may, however, oblige companies to provide access to devices before their data is encrypted, ie calls or messages can be intercepted directly from the network or from online accounts, if there is a warrant for them
In the case of ordinary users, the situation is even more bleak. Suspects who refuse to unlock a device with a password, fingerprint, or facial recognition could risk the sentence they face before, a jail sentence. It's about being able to sit in prison for 2 to 10 years. In the past, the maximum penalty was 2 years.