Australia’s Horrific New Encryption Law Likely to Obliterate Its Tech Scene

https://thenextweb.com/politics/2018/12/10/australias-horrif...

Australia‘s government signed a bill into law last week giving law enforcement agencies the right to force technology companies to reveal users’ encrypted messages. Another way of putting it: Australia‘s tech scene will soon be located on the Wayback Machine.

The new law gives Australian law enforcement agencies the power to issue cooperation notices to technology entities with the purpose of gaining access to specific users’ encrypted messages and data. These entities may include companies, websites, or anything else that transmits data to an end-user in Australia.

Thoughts?

Comments

  • +78 votes

    Australia is a police state at home and a war criminal overseas.

    Most citizens did not want either of these things but they kept on voting Liberal and Labour like they're brainwashed but as less and less people consume commercial news and media they stop voting for Liberal and Labour.

    Here's France showing the world the appropriate response to neoliberal oppression in a democracy that is no longer functioning:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GQuU5Lf3idc

    The Greens were the only party that didn't lick the boots of the Intelligence agencies who created conspiracy theories to justify war crimes in Iraq and 7 other countries since 2001 and they all voted against this attack on human rights.

    They are also the only party who says they will nationalise the electricity system after the economic and social disaster that privatisation has created according to the ACCC indicating they are the only party not overtaken by dangerous neoliberal ideologues who are intent on strangling the country at your expense.

    • +37 votes

      You've finally revealed your favourite party because you've never answered when we've asked. The greens.

      • +5 votes

        I was about to say the same!

        It's like finally getting to the end of a long novel 😂

        • +5 votes

          And an ending that explains everything. Though it was pretty obvious early on.

          • +5 votes

            @Clear: All the foreplay led to this 😂

            • +3 votes

              @Spackbace: And the end is dull, boring and crap.

              •  

                @DisabledUser40191: Dull, boring and crap like the beginning and middle was!

              • -6 votes

                @DisabledUser40191: Really? He's the first I've heard admit that they support the greens.

                I'm pretty confident they could never get elected, but it's scary to think there could be more supporters out there.

                • +8 votes

                  @SlickMick: Why does the idea of Greens supporters existing scare you? They received 10% of votes nationally in the 2016 Federal Election.

                  • -3 votes

                    @Subada: Sorry I didn't express myself properly, I meant it would be scary to think that the greens would ever get to lead the country.

                    But now that you mention it, the fact that 10% of people think that would be a good idea is scary.

                    • +15 votes

                      @SlickMick: Still find it hilarious you're more scared of them than the demonstrably incompetent Liberal govt that we have. The Greens have good ideas to actually fix our shit show of a democracy, for example they spearheaded the federal ICAC long before any major party picked up the idea.

                      The Greens actually had the common sense to fight this new encryption law.

                      What is it about the greens that has you scared? Please don't say immigration because apart from their abuse of asylum seekers on Nauru the major parties have both acted to encourage immigration to this country.

                      • -6 votes

                        @Subada: Okay, I can see you you're one of the 10%, and I'm clearly not going to convert you here.

                        You can pick the flaws in those who have run the country, but are the greens fit for such responsibility? So long as 90% say no I guess I have nothing to fear.

                        • +7 votes

                          @SlickMick: Out of interest, how do you determine fitness? Because the current crowd, in spite of years of tradition, support, education, privilege, money etc etc etc aren't doing a very good job. I'll probably vote Green next election though because of this legislation though, I'm furious about it.

                          Disclosure: I've swung between all parties because my values cross all of them.

                      • -6 votes

                        @Subada:

                        Please don't say immigration because apart from their contractor's abuse of asylum seekers undocumented arrivals on Nauru the major parties have both acted to encourage legal immigration to this country.

                        • +9 votes

                          @tshow:

                          their contractor's abuse

                          You do realise that private and public entities are responsible for the actions of their contractors? You're not making a meaningful distinction when you use that word. It's actually ludicrous that you accept that abuse is happening but think that because it's contractors that are doing it, it's somehow not as bad.

                          Anyway many voters (especially on the right) take issue with overcrowding of cities, dilution of "australian culture" and other problems that are seen to be associated with both legal and "illegal" immigration. However ironically neither major party will take action to limit immigration due to the economic benefits immigration brings.

                          Also note that seeking asylum is not illegal.

                          •  

                            @Subada:

                            legal and "illegal" illegal immigration.

                            Illegal immigration is just illegal immigration. We are a sovereign nation with protected borders.

                          • +7 votes

                            @Subada: There are ways to seek asylum legally. While it may be the most convenient illegally entering a country is not one of them.

                            •  

                              @sabracad: 'Claiming asylum legally' doesn't make sense as a sentence. We are signatory to the convention of human rights - people can claim asylum when on our shore if they arrive by boat, this goes back to WWIi. They have the right to make a claim but we have the right to reject that claim and deport. There's asylum seeking and there's illegal immigration but they're two very different things. Illegal immigration is also vastly in form of people coming in on a legal visa, overstaying it and disappearing into the sunset which imo is a far more concerning group.

                          • +14 votes

                            @Subada: You have to seek asylum in the nearest safe country. Asylum seekers though all head for countries with free housing and abundent welfare payments (Australia, France, Sweden, Canada, Germany).

                            •  

                              @Thaal Sinestro: No, nearest safe country that is signatory to the convention. Some countries are not and will not allow asylum claims at all, the refugee will be stateless in these countries, it's why they have to move through (Indonesia is the best example).

                            •  

                              @Thaal Sinestro: You DO NOT have to claim asylum in the nearest safe country. PERIOD.

                              I can certainly see why you'd want them to, but it is not a law. Use your brain - how on Earth would any asylum seekers get to Canada/Norway/Sweden/Germany etc. if that was true?

                          • -1 vote

                            @Subada:

                            due to the economic benefits immigration brings.

                            That is the point. Exactly. Economic benefit for the companies, not the single person.

                            I would say, that legal immigrants have taken more jobs, than created. Lowered life quality, by accepting to live in (profanity)-holes and accepting all kind of work condition that an Australian would not have. All good, for companies, not for the single person.

                            What good is a tech company in Australia, if the only people they hire are immigrants and foreign students seeking residency. maybe good in term of taxes to the government, but not for the Australian living here.

                    •  

                      @SlickMick: I can assure you that there are more than 10% that support the greens. It's just that many know they wouldn't have enough numbers for the greens to be elected that they choose one of the main party instead to not "waste" their vote.

                      • +5 votes

                        @Omitsukasa:

                        not "waste" their vote

                        It frustrates me how so many people don't understand the election process (not implying you do, since I hope you put the quotation marks there for a reason!)

                        For those that don't understand:

                        If you vote 1 for X, that vote counts towards X until such time as X has the least number of votes of all the candidates on your ballot.

                        Upon such time as X has the least number of votes of the still running candidates, their votes are redistributed. Each ballot is looked at for the next preference (2, in this example) and then moved to that candidates bundle of votes.

                        Rinse and repeat until you're left with two candidates, the one with more ballots being the winner.

                        This is why some parties tells you to put their competition last - it means your vote need to go through EVERY OTHER CANDIDATE before it gets to the one they DON'T want to get it.

            • -1 vote

              @Spackbace: Too much. Very anticlimactic.

      •  

        Ahh I have asked this same question so many times. Well spotted.

    • +4 votes

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GQuU5Lf3idc

      the spitter from The Young Turds
      no thanks

    • +10 votes

      They are also the only party who says they will nationalise the electricity system

      Pretty easy to promise whatever you like if you have no chance of forming a government. Look at their results in Victoria.

      I would have thought that Diji1 would have gone for a less bourgeois party.

    •  

      I saw the topic headline, and came straight away to see if Diji was here with their green pen. Yep fresh from the Vic election fail.

    • +1 vote

      Here's France showing the world the appropriate response to neoliberal oppression in a democracy that is no longer functioning:

      So you think Greens is the way forward.

      You've highlighted a country that has taken sufficient foreigners that they've largely lost their ability of self-determination from imported voters and now the majority feels the socio-economic and voting power shift, so they respond with violence.

      The party that thinks shutting down industry and increasing spending is fairytale a legitimate strategy.

      And this is not going to end with increased unemployment, reduced affordibility, increased state debt and ultimately spark a violent protest? Which you think is an appropriate response by the way.

      • +1 vote

        What complete and utter rubbish. They haven't come remotely close to "losing self-determination through imported voters". You'll find that the vast majority of French voters (yes, actual French, not "dirty foreigners") did not take part in the riots/protests and a large number of them are embarrassed/disgusted by them. This has also been happening in France for decades, well before mass immigration.

        In fact, immigrants are more likely to support many of the grievances of the movement than "locals" anyway, given they are generally the ones who would be helped most by them (the racist fringes aside).

        You being unpleasant is a given, at least try to be accurate.

        •  

          So the local french are not supportive of the movement but according to you, immigrants are.

          So there is a riot seeking to affect policy. Ergo someone, not the local french, is exerting political pressure through violence.

          So they're not even voters and they're demanding policy change.

          So, I'm potentially inaccurate about their ability to vote and this makes it better… how exactly?

          Ps. No need to make things personal. It is, as you say, unpleasant.

    • -3 votes

      So you pick communism over capitalism? Right. move along

      • +6 votes

        Share from the rich when you are the poor.

        I love getting things other people worked hard for while I spent all my time complaining about victimisation and protesting the actions of the capitalist that so happens to be paying for my welfare sharing.

        • +8 votes

          The Greens aren't communists lol, try actually reading their policies. I don't see what's wrong with ensuring that the dole and other forms of welfare actually provide a live-able about of money like they used to 30 years ago. Same with their recently announced free university policy. This is all shit that we used to have which have been taken away, basically just rich older people pulling the ladder up after themselves.

          • -5 votes

            @Subada:

            This is all shit that we used to have which have been taken away

            No. You didn't use to "have it". You don't own things by default.

            • +7 votes

              @tshow: Obviously you don't own things like a house or a car by default, this is about basic entitlements that come with being an Australian citizen. Surely you think Australians are entitled to certain things by default? E.g. public education, healthcare and military defence?

              • Australia used to provide free university education and now does not.

              • Social safety nets like the dole / newstart have not kept pace with inflation and rising costs of living.

              • Corporate profits are growing 45 times faster than worker's wages

              • Worker's share of GDP has been dropping since 1977.

              Things are getting harder for the average Australian and the major parties either don't care or haven't been trying hard enough to reverse this trend.

              • -10 votes

                @Subada:

                Australia used to provide free university education and now does not.

                I'm impartial on this issue. Education is not available by default (ie. If government does not exist) so I why it should be a entitlement as government has not meddled with it's availability, unlike things like water or choice of leaders.

                Social safety nets like the dole / newstart have not kept pace with inflation and rising costs of living.

                You say social safety nets. I say someone elses' hard earned money. Resources need to be worked for and not owned by default.

                Corporate profits are growing 45 times faster than worker's wages

                No idea why leftist keep bringing this up. Just because someone else earns more doesn't mean everyone else is entitled to it.

                Worker's share of GDP has been dropping since 1977.

                It's a free country. People are free to start a corporation and be the group that earns more. Also, a decrease in share doesn't mean a net decrease. Again, this is just comparing to people who have earned more. The share increases if the people who earn more become poorer which just screams envy.

                •  

                  @tshow:

                  No idea why leftist keep bringing this up. Just because someone else earns more doesn't mean everyone else is entitled to it.

                  Maybe because those "earning" it aren't the ones creating the wealth. The people way down in the pecking order are actually doing the work. Yes, you wouldn't necessarily get the same results without the correct leadership, but you'd get absolutely nothing without those doing the work.

                  • -2 votes

                    @banana365: So you earn $25, someone else doing something else earns $50, you are dissatisfied.

                    Would it be better if they earned $30 but you earn $20?

                    Yes, you wouldn't necessarily get the same results without the correct leadership, but you'd get absolutely nothing without those doing the work.

                    And those doing the work are getting paid as per a contract they've voluntarily entered into.

                    • +2 votes

                      @tshow:

                      And those doing the work are getting paid as per a contract they've voluntarily entered into.

                      That's a line that's trotted out again and again but it's absolute bollocks. It's not a case that people voluntarily accept jobs that are badly paid, they accept poorly paid jobs because they have to earn money to live and frequently have no choice (or perhaps Australia has 0% unemployment and I hadn't noticed). If given the choice between two identical jobs, one paid more than the other, and people consistently chose the lower paid job then you might have a point, but they don't.

                      You are either fairly wealthy or have truly swallowed the bullshit fed by your bosses.

                      • -3 votes

                        @banana365:

                        You are either fairly wealthy or have truly swallowed the bullshit fed by your bosses.

                        Or I don't play the victim card and blame others for my outcome.

                        • +1 vote

                          @tshow: Instead, you'll just make spiteful assumptions to justify a gross lack of empathy.

                          • -1 vote

                            @cathole: The assumption was

                            You are either fairly wealthy or have truly swallowed the bullshit fed by your bosses.

                            And okay. I empathize. I think that just made hungry children fed. Oh, I think someone with cancer just got cured too.

    • +7 votes

      "Here's France showing the world the appropriate response to neoliberal oppression in a democracy that is no longer functioning:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GQuU5Lf3idc"

      No, that's France showing what happens when you import thugs into the country and let the run amok.

      • +1 vote

        I've seen it often enough with various groups. Some fringe ones are violent, but as soon as a mass movement gains enough momentum, you can guarantee that there will be opportunists who leach on and try to do a number of things either for self interest, or as provocateurs to discredit the movement. Too often, you'll have a peaceful movement, then along come some masked thugs intent on some violence and in concert with the media, make it a violent movement. Problem is, how do you know those thugs aren't being paid by someone? When there's so much at stake, what's a few hundred dollars and a green light to get a few people to completely discredit a movement?

      • -2 votes

        I think you'll find a large percentage of the rioters are native French…

    • +1 vote

      Our idiotic electricity Grid are the direct result of Green 5% influence, and idiots like gillard, Rudd & Turnbull believing they could harness that 5% without losing grass roots support.The Greens won't nationalise electricity, they will nationalise south Australia.

    • +6 votes

      France is a country brought to the brink by multiracialism. Considering the Greens' xenophilia, they'd probably try to accelerate similar here in Australia.

      • +3 votes

        The greens are globaslists pretty much (borderless world = unlimited immigration, etc) , they just oppose a few industries (coal, logging, mining).

        Most are actually communists (watermelons - green on the outside, to make them more palatable to the voters, total red/pink on the inside).
        They dream of the EU (put together by Altiero Spinelli - and which is about reducing sovereignty and increasing the power of trans-national organisations - eu, un, etc).

        • +1 vote

          The ironic thing is, this globalist agenda is completely at odds with labour movements and ideas of workers parties. With high immigration, they're shilling for the capitalists and working in concert to make sure that inequality is entrenched.

          The other thing to note is greens voters are on average the wealthiest Australians. They're the party of the bourgeois, labor party too.

      • +1 vote

        You can back that up with a scrap of evidence, or it's just a convenient way to express your racism in a seemingly socially acceptable way?

        •  

          Terrorist attacks and sexual crimes aside, I'm more interested in the daily social breakdown caused by diversity.

          Here's an article with some photos and videos of Paris showing the filth that the Africans have brought:

          https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3839636/Footage-sho...

          I would urge you to look into data on French prison populations too if you like numbers. It's a little tough to find accurate stats because race and religion aren't directly recorded, but regardless of the source you'll see that foreigners are hugely disproportionately criminal.

          Let me show you a video of Paris this week. Ask yourself if this is the vision of a European nation enriched by the "strength" of diversity… https://streamable.com/i5y5a

          Do you want this in Sydney? Melbourne?

          Which would you prefer? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NvVdaP6FvFQ

    • +9 votes

      Australia in just a wannabe Communist China. Greens, Labour, Liberal, all the same: they hunger for huge, all powerful totalitarian state they monitors everything their citizens do, and punishes it's citizens for thought crimes (thought crime being define as anything which disagrees with the worldview of Greens voting Social Justice Warriors.)

      Greens, Labour and Liberals also recently votes to ramp up censorship (site blocking) of sites they don't like, particularly file lockers and pirate ones, and to force search engines to completely remove all links to sites which contain even a minority of pirated content or links to pirated content. The Greens aren't the good guys, they're just bicycle riding neo-Liberals. All political parties in Australia serve big business. All politicians are on the take. The Australia government is the enemy. Democracy is a failure; let's rip it up and build a better system of govenment. Anything system is better than demon-ocracy.

      • -1 vote

        So you want a dictatorship then?

      • +2 votes

        If Australia was anything like China we would already have a world class infrastructure built many years ago. But no, we are almost hitting 2019 and we still have trains which have no aircon. I would say we are nothing like China. We are more similar to the US where all our infrastructre are on it's last leg and our government are just looking for ways to sell off everything since it's too hard to fix.

    • +1 vote

      @Diji1
      Apparently Australia is the only 'Western Democracy' without a human rights charter - go figure. Also we do not have a bill of rights. So I do not see how this new encryption law is anything new in that pattern.
      Ironically, I couldn't find any detail on how and why they want to break p2p encrypted communication. It has been proved futile in the past, what new developments has happened that made those lawmakers think it is possible now.
      Also, Since we started keeping sensitive data online how many breaches were recorded? Any of these "interventions" can be exploited by hackers and have been in the past. It is just a matter of time. Hackers are more motivated than professionals.

    •  

      That YouTube link could have been an interesting watch if not the Russia Today's "RT" logo on the video footage.

    • +1 vote

      This post is excellent until you get to the Greens part. You have the right idea but need to understand they've been hoodwinked into the global warming hoax and they're in too deep to back pedal. The people have voted against the carbon tax at several elections but we are still getting it. Shows how important it is to those who really run the world. Even if it is true how can the solution be for us to hand over our money and control of our lives to investment bankers. Look at the biggest mouths and they have private jets, private yachts, and stand to make a fortune from it.
      So I put the Labor last, Greens second last, Libs third last and whoever else is left above them.

  • +2 votes

    This is already going on behind closed doors in most countries.

    • +22 votes

      even FBI can't get apple to unlock a terrorist iphone

      had to resort paying 900k to israeli to hack it

    • +4 votes

      Even if that were true, so what?
      Terrible things can go on behind closed doors, but the need for securacy keeps it small and localised. When you bring bad things out in the open, it allows them to be industrialized, scaled up. It also makes going for that next step into darkness that much easier.

  • +16 votes

    Definitely see it as pretty bullshit to me, can definitely see a lot of tech companies bailing over it which ultimately affects people and job and technology in Aus.

    Even if the government does actually use it for anything important (or if even if they do) no one will trust using Australian servers when you have plenty of choice with actual privacy.

    • +36 votes

      Yep we banned Huawei from the NBN over fears of backdoors and here we have our clowns in Canberra giving themselves the power to force Australian located firms to do exactly the same thing. I feel for any Aussie software company trying to sell overseas now - this isn't just a fear of a backdoor like Huawei, it's a real, government mandated backdoor. It will be pretty much impossible to sell anything in Europe with the GDPR in place.

      I laughed when Turnbull said the laws of mathematics don't overrule Australian law, surely I thought they wouldn't be this stupid. Apparently they are.

      • +21 votes

        Its actually funny too, because Aus is part of the 5 eyes where intelligence is potentially shared to other countries (US, Canada, UK etc). But if you bought a Huawei, you're probably more protected because only China has your data and they won't share it with anybody XD.

      • +1 vote

        What's the GDPR?

        •  

          Seriously you are living under a rock and browsing without a VPN

          •  

            @regenade: Yes I am living under a rock and browsing without a VPN…..so what's the big deal….? I thought VPN is only really useful in situations where you're using free WiFi from random places or if you're trying to circumvent a region blocked site/data for access or really circumvent anything that restricts your specific IP's access to or just want to hide your web activities(Whatever they may be - I don't really care what you use the internet for…) - but since I have nothing to hide, there's nothing to fear, right…?

  • +29 votes

    Pretty shocking, isn't it? Its like a poorly written scifi novel. The liberals attacking labor, saying that by them wanting it to be more well written and specific they were supporting pedophiles and terrorists, was just so over the top it was cringe inducing

    • -8 votes

      Bet something was in play, in case Shorten didn't let it pass.

      Brief fact-check.

      Howard: Pt Arthur, 9/11, Bali
      Abbott: Martin Place, Parramatta Police HQ shooting, several arrests and show-trials, two(?) Malaysian planes downed
      Turnbull: No events of note, several arrests with most thrown out
      Morrison: Melbourne x2, high-profile arrests including two laughable cases (UTS notebook and Aussie citizen in Lebanon). Last two likely under Turnbull with some lag.

      Anyone else notice the undeniable pattern here?
      Remind me of major security incidents or fear-mongering under Rudd/Gillard/Rudd. Anyone?

      • +10 votes

        How can anyone give examples when we have no idea on what criteria you selected your list. Eg Malaysian airline ‘crashes’. How the hell would Australian security know about either of those?

        The only pattern, would be your own beliefs.

        As well as you acknowledge in your Turnbull maybe initiated quip, surveillance can be years in the making, it could have been initiated under one leader then ‘exposed’ under another.

        • -1 vote

          The general consensus was everyone was sick of the Labor "drama". The leadership bizzo if you recall.

          We've had that and so much more with the Coalition, haven't we?

          Any events under Labor that would dictate sweeping revisions to National Security policy?
          I can't recall any.

  • +14 votes

    Look, I'd be fine if this was exclusive access to the intelligence agencies. Let's face it, they're doing it anyway.

    What I am not fine with…is practically everything about this.

    From the wording this is allowing access to all enforcement agencies….I'd imagine that would include groups like the police.

    And, further then that, based on the way this is worded it requires the company to make a back door…as in a legitimate back door, the sort a group of hackers would use…am not even slightly a fan of that.

    But, and this is the part that really worries me… politics, specifically of the speech variety. Australia doesn't have free speech laws…add that onto the slippery slope giving all enforcement agencies access to private info is and this shit could turn out really bad.

    TL;DR - I'm completely fine with intelligence agencies, the sort that'd generally be able to get access to this stuff anyway and will use it for stuff that wouldn't really bother us. But this stuff is a rushed (profanity) of stupid. This should not have gone through, and generally just puts us at risk for no dammed reason.

    • +32 votes

      The thing is, there's no technological way that you can have a backdoor which only allows one party or group of people to have access when it comes to encryption at the software level.

      It's like having a nuclear fallout bunker then putting a wooden door on it that says "gov access only", shit doesn't work. Bad guys can and will find out and exploit it.

      Also what they want is pretty much impossible since all software development is screened by multiple code reviews and audit logs of who does what. No way to compartmentalize any spyware/backdoors to only one person as the legislation requires.

      And finally, any real terrorist or criminal group worth their salt already uses their own encryption system be it keywords, code words or other things.

      Additional rant: they also specifically said the legislation doesn't apply to themselves (ie. they are allowed to hide their chatlogs or whatever) and that access to private info through this legislation EXCLUDES THE ICAC (so ICAC can't investigate their mates/family for corruption) w t f

      • +8 votes

        If this is anything like the metadata debacle, every man and his dog will be asking to see our private communications.

        Surveillance creep has already occurred - the new laws were sold as preventing terrorism, but they actually apply to any crime carrying a three year sentence.
        Combine that with the secrecy around it all – no one is allowed to talk about - this stuff is entering dangerous territory.
        If a rogue player ever has accesses to these processes, government or not, it provides a great way to destroy an innocent person's life.

        Imagine this scenario :
        The political party that you absolutely hate has just come to power.
        Do you really want that party to have access to these powers?

      • +3 votes

        Dam…. now that I think about it the tech companies woukd have to constantly update the back door even if it was possible.

        In that case, it's absolutely better off as no-one having access. To risky. Beyond just exposing ourselves to normie hackers, they'd also be exposing us to other countries hacking…

        As for that BS with the peoples families. That is absolutely rediculous. You're telling me they're doing it for security but won't make sure everyone's included there?

        • +2 votes

          There’s no upside to the legislation, because the people being targeted wont use the compromised software / hardware. When you can grab an open source option and modify it for your needs, there’s no reason to use software that has been built in a country that mandates backdoors be included for the gov. This will only ever affect normal Australians, not criminals.

      •  

        The thing is, there's no technological way that you can have a backdoor which only allows one party or group of people to have access when it comes to encryption at the software level.

        https://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-10-11/hacker-stole-data-fro...
        https://www.itnews.com.au/news/hacked-aussie-defence-firm-lo...

        I never forget how "clumsy" government can be

    • +7 votes

      When the two major parties squabble, it's usually over stupid inconsequential crap. When they agree on something, and the media doesn't really cover it at all either, you know something is going on.

  • Top