back to article Tech sector unites in attempt to avoid Oz's anti-crypto push, again

The federal government's continuing media blitz to rush through its anti-encryption legislation has drawn push-back from eight industry bodies, led by the Communications Alliance. The government wants scrutiny of its “Access and Assistance” legislation in the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security (PJCIS) …

  1. Mark 85 Silver badge

    The government wants ???

    The whole government or just one or two vocal bastards?*

    *Yeah, just two but why use the term "government wants" as government is usually more than one or two people unless it's a dictatorship.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The government wants ???

      Tradition here in the land of hot as F Christmas day is to push thru any horrible, ill thought out, borderline criminally stupid legislation right before Christmas as the public are too drunk and distracted by flashing lights and sales of useless tat to be paying attention to the biggest threat to privacy and security of the individual since 5-eyes was dreamed up.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The government wants ???

        In the 20th century the time to start a war in Europe was during the summer holidays. So the Australian government has the same idea about starting trouble.

    2. An nonymous Cowerd
      Flame

      Re: The government wants ???

      ukusacannzAus needs to ban crypto because of terrrrrsts & criminals about to kill the prime minister!

      Like this guy?

      https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/12/04/brother-australia-cricketer-arrested-fake-terror-hit-list/

      Er, we cannot comment on this case due to privacy reasons !

  2. AntiSol

    What we need

    What we need is another blackout day like we had for SOPA. Coordinate a day where google and facebook and as many sites as we can get to show Australians a black page saying "Welcome, Australia. We'd love to show you our page, but we need to be able to do that securely. If this bill gets into law we won't be able to do that, and our solution will be to simply block Australia. Here's Peter Dutton's Office phone number in case you wanted to tell someone what you think of that. Love, The Intarwebs".

    I wonder who would back down first. I give it about two hours.

  3. Cincinnataroo

    How do we get politicians and a whole society that adequately understand what is going on?

  4. Oengus Silver badge

    You just know this isn't going to be good for the "people"

    Government now says it wants bill passed 'in its current form'

    Whenever the government wants something rushed through and uses the "National Security" card you just know that it is not going to be beneficial to the general population.

    I can't wait for the next two instalments... somewhere in the wings there will be a high profile paedophile and an organised crime case where the investigations will be hampered by the accused using encrypted communications. A recent story cites 15000 intercepted calls and 10000 text messages to be used as evidence. If the "terrorists" were using encrypted messaging why would they have had so many "insecure" communications.

  5. Winkypop Silver badge
    Facepalm

    With chuckle-heads like Dutton and Hastie on the case

    Be afraid.

    Be very afraid.

  6. A.P. Veening

    Pay back

    It looks like this will be implemented. The correct response in that case would be a publication of all private information that can be dug up on this Dutton person, including his tax returns and high school results, after proper and legal decryption of course.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Pay back

      There will probably be a clause excluding MPs from (overt) surveillance.

      1. A.P. Veening

        Re: Excluding MPs

        No problem, that information is just bycatch and once it is published, we'll let the Streisand effect do the rest.

  7. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

    If you outlaw encryption, only outlaws will use encryption.

    1. WonkoTheSane
      Headmaster

      "If you outlaw encryption, only outlaws will use encryption."

      Like outlaw banks, outlaw government agencies, etc?

      1. A.P. Veening

        Outlaw?

        "outlaw government agencies"

        Are you telling me there are government agencies that operate within the law?

  8. James 51 Silver badge
    Childcatcher

    The reality is that they won't support the current bill”

    Fixed that thought for them.

  9. EastFinchleyite

    Does this really matter?

    I mean does this really matter to us outside of Australia. Possibly.

    Australia is a democracy of sorts and is free to elect whichever dickheads they choose. If they elect a government that wants to dig an almighty hole and then jump into it, then so be it. The rest of the world can look at Australian products and services and decide whether or not to get involved. Most would be well advised to give them a wide berth on any sensitive matter such as high tech industries with commercially confidential information, routing submarine cables via them etc, Buy their apples and watch their cricket by all means by share any sensitive communications or data? No thanks.

    So why could this possibly matter to us in the UK?. Because we have politicians every bit as stupid as our antipodean counterparts and they never ignore the opportunity to adopt a bad idea. Look at our leaders and what is going on here now!

    1. Zippy´s Sausage Factory

      Re: Does this really matter?

      I'm guessing this will be adopted in the UK soon, along with the Chinese "social credit" scoring system, once the undemocratic EU can no longer stick its nose in to say "no"...

  10. mark l 2 Silver badge

    What makes the Australian government thinks that just because encryption without backdoors will be illegal that criminals won't continue to use unbreakable encryption and break the law?

    ISIS, pedos and other crims will simply avoid using services delivered from Australia providers and start using Tor or other services that they are unable to control

    1. ThatOne Bronze badge

      > What makes the Australian government thinks that just because encryption without backdoors will be illegal that criminals won't continue to use unbreakable encryption and break the law?

      Nothing, they don't really care. What's important to them is to have that shiny badge saying "I am the one who singlehandedly saved our country from chaos - It's me, adore me, vote for me". Reality on the terrain isn't important, more so since actual crime fighting (as opposed to gesture politics) is actually someone else's problem.

      1. moooooooo

        i agree. The Libtards want to be seen to "securing" Straya against those pesky hackers and most Aussies wouldnt have a fucking clue wrt that but hopefully they read between the lines on this one. Probably not though as all this is, is just another bite out of the internet cherry.

        The fuckwits (Libtards) don't realise that we have Tor, Signal, Wickr etc that we can use and the next set of legislation is to actually mandate the breaking of said encryption. Good luck with that.

        Big brother is alive and well in Oz controlled by retards and spastics who wouldn't know how to send an email let alone what encryption is. Sounds good for the resume/CV tho

    2. StargateSg7 Bronze badge

      If Australians want Encrypted Text Chat, Encrypted Videophone, Encrypted Email and Encrypted File Transfer then I already have a solution and WILL GIVE IT AWAY UTTERLY FOR FREE for you to download workable on ANY Tablet, Smartphone and Desktop that has HTML-5 enabled browser OR a Java-enabled scripting system. I use Shor's Algorithm Resistant encryption (i.e. Lattice-based anti-quantum computing encryption) AND TRIPLE AES-256 (768 bits) so you can keep your data files, media and personal communications completely ENCRYPTED using either or both PEER-to-PEER and Client/Server connections! We are in final product testing mode, so within 45 days you can keep your privacy intact from prying eyes. (aka The Five Eyes aka Echelon System).

      We were going to introduce this technology anyways at the 45 day time window, but this announcement from Australia simply ticked us off to no end, so we added some further teaks to INCREASE privacy AND it works as a second invisible layer ON TOP of you using your normal Web-based email and messaging systems (Outlook, GMail, Skype, Hotmail, Yahoo, Facebook, etc) so EVEN IF the idiots have server and network-based tools and court orders to access data at the service provider, your data and communications are STILL ENCRYPTED at the local machine and peer level BYPASSING EVERYTHING they do at the back end! And me doing OPEN SOURCE FREE software means they can do dip diddley all!

      The Australian guy is A TECHNOLOGICAL KNOW-NOTHING AND A SIMPLE IDIOT ....AND...I just bypassed his ENTIRE LEGISLATIVE BILL by me being CANADIAN and making ENCRYPTED COMMUNICATIONS SOFTWARE available for you Australians (And anyone else for that matter!) that can be downloaded for UTTERLY FREE !!!

    3. Tom 35 Silver badge

      Because the plan is to snoop on average people, and assume anyone they can't snoop on is a crim.

  11. Jimmy2Cows
    Facepalm

    “The technology's ahead of where the agencies are at the moment”

    So? Catch up!

    But that's too hard, so break the internet for your country instead. Bell ends, the pair of them.

  12. John Savard Silver badge

    Insufficient Background

    Not being an Australian myself, I'm not immersed in their politics. So I don't know the most basic fact to determine whether or not this bill is likely to be made into law: is Australia currently under a minority government or not?

    1. John Savard Silver badge

      Re: Insufficient Background

      If Wikipedia is to be believed, the government is a coalition of three parties, with 74 seats; Labour, the opposition party, has 69... but there are also another 7 seats held by "cross-bench" parties; so the government is outnumbered 74 to 76, so as long as both Labour and the other parties that have not declared themselves as with or against the government all resolutely oppose this bill, it will not pass.

      I'm not sure how likely that is; I can hardly see the Greens voting for it, but that's only one seat accounted for.

  13. DeKrow

    No global precedent, except maybe in China

    For me, the thing that's most obviously concerning about "their" rush to get this thing through, is that it's unprecedented.

    Australia, that doesn't want to lead the world by implementing a country-wide fiber to the home network infrastructure.

    Australia, that doesn't want to lead the world in renewable energy despite it's abundance of wide-open spaces and sunshine.

    Australia, that hasn't had terror attacks anywhere near the scale of those in the US, UK, or Europe, wants to implement unprecedented legislation "in a hurry".

    Something's fishy. Be it copyright, or setting precedent in lil' ol' Australia so that other western countries can follow the lead, or creating Australia as the funnel through which the rest of the 5-eyes can siphon their requests, or as some WW3 anti-China / Russia preparation, I don't know. But it ain't the safety of Australia's citizens that's the concern of this Government.

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