Tuesday, 04 December 2018 10:14

Encryption bill: final parliamentary panel hearing cancelled

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Encryption bill: final parliamentary panel hearing cancelled Pixabay

Following disagreement between the Federal Government and the Opposition over its passage, a hearing of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security inquiring into the encryption bill, scheduled for Tuesday, appears to have been cancelled.

The hearing had been listed on the parliamentary website but the listing disappeared shortly before 9.30 this morning.

Tuesday was scheduled to be the sixth and final hearing on what is officially known as the Telecommunications and Other Legislation Amendment (Assistance and Access) Bill 2018, with Parliament set to rise for the year on Thursday.

On Monday, disagreements between the government and the Opposition on the bill ended with the bill being listed for debate in Parliament on Wednesday.

Labor Shadow Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus had made it plain to the government that the Opposition would not back the bill in its current form. He had offered to pass schedule one of the bill, the bit that gives new powers to the spy agencies, if it was only available to counter-terror agencies.

Both Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton have been pushing for the bill to be passed by Parliament before Thursday.

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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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