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Turnbull pushes for facial recognition database


Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on Wednesday said that his government has proposed a measure to include photographs and driving license information in the facial recognition database as part of the fight against terrorism.

“You can’t allow the risk of hacking to prevent you from doing everything you can to keep Australians safe,” Turnbull told ABC radio.

He added that half of the Australians were already in the federal government systems.

The proposal, a part of a series of measures to unify the central government resources with those of states and territories in the fight against terror, will be discussed during a meeting in Canberra, Efe news reported.

Turnbull said that details of licenses would be linked to the passport and immigration information database to allow the monitoring of airports or shopping centres.

Australia also sought to harmonise the laws in the states and territories to allow the detention of a terror suspect of up to 14 days without charge.

Currently, New South Wales is the only state implementing the regulation, but the government said it hopes to see its implementation in all parts of the country.

The federal government also sought to make possession of instruction materials on carrying out acts of terror, mostly available on the internet, an offence.

“In the age of encrypted messaging applications, in the age of the internet, somebody can be sent from the other side of the world or download from the internet an instruction manual to build a bomb,” Turnbull said.

The government, which has stepped up security against potential terror attacks in the country after a terror alert was raised to high in September 2014, passed a series of anti-terror laws to prevent attacks on its territory.

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