"The Director-General of Security, the Director-General of the Australian Secret Intelligence Service, the Director-General of the Australian Signals Directorate or the chief officer of an interception agency may give a technical assistance request to a designated communications provider. A technical assistance request may ask the provider to do acts or things on a voluntary basis that are directed towards ensuring that the provider is capable of giving certain types of help," the bill reads.
The new legislation envisages the introduction of "technical assistance notice" forcing technology companies to assist law enforcement agencies investigating a case in decrypting information if it is "reasonable, proportionate, practical and technically feasible."
Such assistance may include giving access to devices or services, sharing encryption keys, providing necessary technical information and removing electronic protection of the data, while the end-to-end encryption, which is the users' application of an encryption key, will remain out of law enforcement agencies' jurisdiction.
The computer access warrant will be expanded to information associated with online accounts, as the "account-based data" definition is changed under the proposed legislation.
The bill will increase the penalty for refusing to provide the Australian Border Force evidence that an electronic device contains if the Border Force has a related warrant. The penalty that now stands at six months of imprisonment will be raised up to 10 years in case of serious offenses.
According to the Australian government's Cyber Security Review, cybercrime costs the country's economy up to $1 billion in its direct costs only every year.
Th Australian Parliament will have debated the bill by the end of December, according to its Sitting calendar.