Canberra, Dec 7 (IANS) Australia on Friday passed controversial laws designed to compel technology companies to grant police and security agencies access to encrypted messages.
The government has said that the laws, a world first, are necessary to help combat terrorism and crime, the BBC reported.
The laws were rushed through parliament on its final day of the year.
The Labor opposition said it had reluctantly supported the laws to help protect Australians during the Christmas period, but on Friday it said that "legitimate concerns" about them remained.
Cyber-security experts have warned the laws could now create a "global weak point" for companies such as Facebook and Apple.
Australia already has laws which require providers to hand over a suspect's communication to police.
Under Australia's legislation, the police can force companies to create a technical function that would give them access to encrypted messages without the user's knowledge.
If companies don't comply with the laws, they risk being fined.