On 27 September the SA Attorney-General, the Honourable JR Rau (the AG), introduced into the SA Legislative Assembly the Statutes Amendment (Child Exploitation and Encrypted Material) Bill 2017 (the Bill). The proposed legislation will make it an offence to run websites have child exploitation material ("CEM"), even without being in possession of offensive material and people convicted of running child exploitation material websites will face up to 10 years jail under the proposed new laws. Further, the proposed laws will also target aspects of technological advancement which increasingly prevent police and law enforcement from gaining access to websites and files due to the use of sophisticated password and encryption technology.
The Bill proposes to amend four Acts; the Child Sex Offenders Registration Act 2006 (SA); the Criminal Law Consolidation Act 1935 (SA); the Evidence Act 1929 (SA); and the Summary Offences Act 1953 (SA).
The Bill proposes, according to the AG's second reading speech, to:
The new offences proposed by the Bill draw on the model introduced by Victoria in the Crimes Amendment (Child Pornography and Other Matters) Act 2015 and, according to the AG, are also similar to offences in the Crimes Legislation Amendment (Sexual Crimes Against Children and Community Protection Measures) Bill 2017 (Cth), introduced to the Commonwealth Parliament on 13 September 2017. Further, the AG states in his second reading speech that: "the new State and Commonwealth offences are intended to be complementary in this important area."
The Bill proposes to addresses the omission in current SA police powers of a "general power in SA" to compel the provision of a password or other means of access to encrypted or otherwise restricted access material. In this respect the proposed laws are said to draw on models that allow the police to compel a suspect or third party to provide information or assistance (such as password/s or fingerprint) to access the encrypted or restricted access computer material.
The power to compel a suspect or third party to provide access to encrypted material is provided to a Magistrate in light of the sensitivity of the power. The AG said in his second reading speech:
Penalties under the new offences will include:
In a media release the AG has said that:
In the same media release the Minister for Police has commented:
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Statutes Amendment (Child Exploitation and Encrypted Material) Bill 2017 and supporting materials including second reading speech as reported in the TimeBase LawOne Service.
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