Getting the world’s global technology companies to hand over customer’s data to help combat terrorism will be top of Australia’s agenda at the next Five Eyes intelligence meeting.
The Five Eyes countries – Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, the United States and Canada – regularly share security and intelligence information.
Attorney-General George Brandis will attend the group’s next meeting later this month, and said calling on companies such as Google and Facebook to cooperate more with authorities on terrorism investigations is essential.
“There is a very important issue of corporate social responsibility, because there’s no doubt that social media are a vector for terrorists,” Senator Brandis said.
“In fairness, they do a lot, but there are always ways in which they can do more.
“We have listed this as Australia’s principal agenda item — the problem of ubiquitous encryption, of communications, and the responsibility of the private sector of the [internet service providers], the telcos and the device makers to be more proactive, to afford Government more cooperation in order to meet these important intelligence and national security and law enforcement obligations.”
In the wake of the London Bridge and Borough Markets terror attack at the weekend, British Prime Minister Theresa May called for a crackdown on internet services that provide extremist ideology “the safe space it needs to breed”.
“We need to work with allied democratic governments to reach international agreements that regulate cyberspace,” Ms May said on Sunday.
Facebook, Google and Twitter have all argued they are working to tackle the spread of militant propaganda, and are committed to ensuring terrorists do not have a voice online.
Security experts have warned driving terrorists away from such websites could actually make it harder to track their activities.
The FBI has previously battled against tech giant Apple’s encryption of data in criminal investigations.