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Encryption Australia

Aussie Attorney General's War On Encrypted Web Services 151

Bismillah writes "If Attorney-General Brandis gets his way in the process of revising Australia's Telecommunications Interception Act, users and providers of VPNs and other encrypted services will by law be required to decrypt government intercepted data. Because, 'sophisticated criminals and terrorists.' New Zealand already has a similar law, the Telecommunications Interception and Computer Security Act. Apparently, large Internet service providers such as Microsoft and Facebook won't be exempt from the TICSA and must facilitate interception of traffic."
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Aussie Attorney General's War On Encrypted Web Services

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 17, 2014 @02:08AM (#46503183)

    or else...

    >or else what?

    We'll take your pants down.

    2 choices. One involves bravery, and integrity.

  • Gravity (Score:5, Insightful)

    by scsirob ( 246572 ) on Monday March 17, 2014 @02:21AM (#46503241)

    The attorney-general can write a law to defy gravity, but putting a signature on such law will not make people fly.

    In other words: madness.

  • Genius (Score:5, Insightful)

    by pitchpipe ( 708843 ) on Monday March 17, 2014 @02:42AM (#46503325)
    Yeah! Let's weaken security on networks that most major financial transactions travel over, because we really have no problems with criminals committing fraud over these networks.

    Yes Mr. Contractor, for the new ultra-hardened backdoor with super-duper locks I'd like you to leave the key over there under that rock. No, I'm sure only our RSA, NSA, TLA certified guys will be using it. How would anyone else know it's there?

  • Snowden (Score:4, Insightful)

    by TubeSteak ( 669689 ) on Monday March 17, 2014 @02:51AM (#46503361) Journal

    The department argues the obligation on service providers would merely "formalise" existing arrangements.

    This is fallout from the Snowden leaks.
    What was once done in secret is now being brought into the light.
    I guess I was hoping they'd just stop, instead of legalizing the invasive spying programs.

  • Re:Snowden (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TapeCutter ( 624760 ) on Monday March 17, 2014 @03:51AM (#46503511) Journal

    This is fallout from the Snowden leaks.

    No, Brandis doesn't need an excuse for this behaviour, he was like this before Snowden was born. His predecessor (and mentor) from the Howard government was Ruddock, Ruddock was the guy who threw out the Magna Carta in order to make a political prisoner out of David Hicks, it was the most shameful act of any Aussie AG I have witnessed in the last 50 odd years. I will be very surprised if Brandis does not sink even lower than Ruddock (assuming that's possible).

    People who thirst for the power that comes with the role of AG should somehow be banned from applying for the job.

  • Re:Gravity (Score:4, Insightful)

    by gweihir ( 88907 ) on Monday March 17, 2014 @06:14AM (#46503983)

    Actually, he does not have the power to enforce a law defying gravity. He has a mandate to do so and he may be stupid enough to try though.

  • Re:Insanity (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gweihir ( 88907 ) on Monday March 17, 2014 @06:18AM (#46504003)

    This is actually business as usual. If the population of a country forgets to kick their "representatives" in the face whenever they develop delusions, then the government slowly morphs into totalitarianism. The problem is that ordinary people are highly susceptible to manipulation and governments are getting better at it. The "we did not know what was happening"-excuse that so many Germans used after Nazi-Germany was overthrown will not fly this time.

  • by BlueStrat ( 756137 ) on Monday March 17, 2014 @07:30AM (#46504287)

    Here's the third: Take your business elsewhere.

    The world is a large place. Someone might want to tell Mr. Bigwig that his laws mean jack in all but one country.

    Except that this trend towards increased government surveillance of the general populace by government intelligence and LE agencies, often in blatant violation of their nations' own laws and founding documents & principles, is a global phenomenon, particularly in the West, and no longer limited to a handful of dictatorships and totalitarian nations.

    Blowing this stuff off because "just switch to a foreign provider" is short-sighted.

    Individual freedom around the world, particularly digital privacy/security against intrusive, and often illegal by their own laws, digital spying by governments against their own citizens, is on a downward trend as the US and other Western nations grow increasingly paranoid and authoritarian.

    The struggle against such invasive surveillance must likewise be global as these regimes work together both in the actual surveillance and also on the political side to increase their scope and power ever further.

    This is particularly true among "Five Eyes" nations like Australia. What good would it do to switch to using services outside the country you're in if all the practical alternatives are just as bad or worse?


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