U.S., Australia Sign Law Enforcement Pact to Share Digital Data
(Bloomberg) -- Australia and the U.S. signed an agreement Wednesday that will let the nations’ law enforcement agencies share sensitive digital data for investigations, from stopping terrorist attacks to preventing child abuse.
“The United States and Australia have today entered into a landmark new law enforcement partnership to stamp out serious organized criminality, terrorism, child sexual abuse and other crime,” Australian Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews said at a signing ceremony in Washington alongside U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland.
“Until now, Australian agencies have relied on complex and time-consuming mechanisms,” Andrews said. “Investigations and prosecutions have stalled and even derailed as a result of these arrangements.”
Garland said the agreement will protect civil liberties while allowing “timely access to electronic evidence in investigations of serious crime.”
The law enforcement agreement follows increased defense cooperation through the Australia-U.K.-U.S. defense accord, known as Aukus, that was signed in September, in large part to counter China’s growing influence.
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