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Australia flags crackdown on encrypted communication

IANS | Canberra |

Australia will be pushing its "Five Eyes" intelligence partners this month to crackdown on encrypted technology in the global fight against terrorism.

Attorney-General George Brandis said Australia would list the issue as a top agenda item at a meeting of the "Five Eyes" alliance which comprises Australia, the US, the UK, Canada and New Zealand, reports Xinhua news agency. 

The meeting is due in Canada at the end of June.

Speaking to the Australian media on Tuesday night, Brandis said encrypted internet communication was the biggest challenge facing law enforcement and security agencies around the world.

He called upon telecommunications companies, social media outlets and internet giants to cooperate with authorities on terrorism investigations, saying they had a "corporate social responsibility" to help combat terrorist activity.

"If those encrypted communications contain information which is necessary to a prosecution, an intelligence task like keeping a terrorism suspect under appropriate surveillance, then there does need to be a level of co-operation from the carriage services providers," Brandis said.

Earlier, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said there was too much tolerance of extremist material online.