Australia Proposes Law That Would Compel Tech Companies to Decrypt Messages

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by MacRumors, Jul 14, 2017.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Australia on Friday proposed new laws that would require companies like Apple to provide law enforcement authorities with access to encrypted communications (via Reuters).

    Australia's proposed legislation will compel companies to help security agencies intercept and read messages sent by suspects. It appears to take cues from the U.K.'s Investigatory Powers Bill, which includes provisions that require technology companies to bypass encryption where technically feasible.
    The proposal will be introduced when parliament resumes in August and could be adopted within months, according to lawmakers. Other nations have said they will introduce similar laws.

    Apple, along with Facebook, Google, and other major tech companies, have historically opposed such law changes, which they say threaten online security protocols.

    For example, Apple claimed the U.K.'s recent bill would "weaken security" for millions of law-abiding customers. "The creation of backdoors and intercept capabilities would weaken the protections built into Apple products and endanger all our customers," Apple stated in December 2015. "A key left under the doormat would not just be there for the good guys. The bad guys would find it too."

    Facebook rejected the need to introduce the new Australian law, insisting it already had a system in place to work alongside security agencies, while the new legislation could not be implemented on an individual basis.

    "Weakening encrypted systems for them would mean weakening it for everyone," a spokeswoman for Facebook told Reuters.

    Notably, Australia has not explained how the proposed law would prevent nefarious actors from using open-source encryption tools to encrypt messages that can be transferred through conventional means such as email.

    Last month it was reported that Australia attended a meeting of officials from the "Five Eyes" intelligence sharing network, where it pushed for greater international powers to thwart the use of encrypted messaging services by terrorists and criminals.

    Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

    Article Link: Australia Proposes Law That Would Compel Tech Companies to Decrypt Messages
  2. simonmet macrumors 68000


    Sep 9, 2012
  3. soupcan macrumors 6502a


    Nov 21, 2014
    Haven't they learned from the FBI debacle? Apparently not.
  4. haruhiko macrumors 601


    Sep 29, 2009
    Soon we will see arguments of how 'terrorists' and 'pedophiles' can get away if encryption is allowed.
  5. JosephAW macrumors 68000


    May 14, 2012
    The truth is that the government secret courts have already decided this issue and have forced companies to give access to the cloud and told them they are not allowed to disclose this to their customers. And now they are bringing this to the public in fake debates and legislation to make it look like they are trying to watch out for the little guy so they can get reelected.
  6. meady100 macrumors member

    Oct 9, 2011
    I mean there's never corruption at governmental level, is there, so what's the problem in giving them the keys to literally the whole shebang? :rolleyes: These people and what they propose are more dangerous than any terrorist threat.
  7. simonmet, Jul 14, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2017

    simonmet macrumors 68000


    Sep 9, 2012
    To put this in context: personal Medicare patient details were recently discovered for sale online on the dark web.
  8. ColdShadow macrumors 65816


    Sep 25, 2013
  9. djgamble macrumors 6502a

    Oct 25, 2006
    What, the cops being able to tap people's phone lines when they are organising a crime? Please... cut the libertarian junk.
  10. c0ppo macrumors 65816


    Feb 11, 2013
    Western governments pt.1: accept millions of 3rd world muslim migrants. Illegally. Without even a simple background check.
    Western governments pt.2: after terrorist attacks, take away freedom from their own citizens, making that country more and more like those from where those immigrants came from.

    Makes sense.
  11. Joegrech macrumors newbie


    Feb 21, 2015
    Sydney Australia
    Spot on buddy!
  12. crawfish963 macrumors 6502


    Apr 16, 2010

  13. ArtOfWarfare macrumors G3


    Nov 26, 2007
    Currently at work, we're working on strengthening encryption for a major bank. They've got a lot of rules we have to comply with - it seems clear to me they've invested a lot into research on best security practices.

    If an old bank (not at all a tech company) can figure this out, why can't our governments?
  14. moxxham macrumors 6502


    Mar 8, 2015
    Sydney, Australia
    Oh how I hate my government. They don't understand technology one bit. The NBN is just one example. They don't seem to understand the importance of encryption either.
  15. WRChris macrumors 6502a


    Aug 17, 2016
    Yep, we should all be tapped for the extreme minority of people organizing crime over the phone, smh. Cut out the paranoid security state crap.

    libertarian junk? Looks like the system you democrats and republicans built is doing just peachy huh?
  16. Adrian Andrews macrumors newbie

    Adrian Andrews

    Jan 2, 2017
    Absolute nonsense!
  17. 2010mini macrumors 68040

    Jun 19, 2013
    Yes. Because problems only exist with 3rd world Muslims.

    1st world countries have committed more acts of terrorism over the last century than any terrorist organization.

    Your rant should be more like this:

    1st world: illegally meddling in 3rd world countries for decades. Overthrowing legally elected leaders. Installing cronies who turn out to bite them in the asses.
    Forcing said 1st world governments to accept people fleeing certain death.
    1st world governments never owning up to being the cause of terrorists acts, now using it as excuse to take away freedoms.
  18. Abazigal macrumors G4


    Jul 18, 2011
    Which makes Apple encryption stance all the more prescient. You can't be forced to open a lock you don't have the keys to.
  19. I7guy macrumors P6


    Nov 30, 2013
    Gotta be in it to win it
    Another example of the rights of law abiding citizens being eroded while the criminals activities will be unaffected.
  20. Winni macrumors 68040


    Oct 15, 2008
    What, the cops being able to tap phone lines of INNOCENT people that are NOT organizing a crime...? Please... Cut the fascistic junk.
  21. MrNomNoms macrumors 65816

    Jan 25, 2011
    Wellington, New Zealand
    And yet Australians keep telling themselves that they're in the 'lucky country'. Hopefully New Zealand won't do something this stupid.
  22. supremedesigner macrumors 6502a


    Dec 9, 2005
    Gainesville, Fl
    Source? And what company?
  23. c0ppo macrumors 65816


    Feb 11, 2013
    Yes. I agree. Completely. But do you see a small, but rather important difference?

    Those 3rd world countries would like to get rid of westerners bombing and interfering into their countries. And rightly so.

    But we on the other hand want more of 'multiculturalism' aka terrorism.

    I find that rather funny :)
  24. simonmet, Jul 14, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2017

    simonmet macrumors 68000


    Sep 9, 2012
    I'm Australian and I can assure you there are plenty that don't, more than those that do.

    Your Conservative party is just as bad. Malcolm Turnbull and John Key were basically two peas in a pod and Bill English is just as lame if not more so.
  25. Sasparilla, Jul 14, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2017

    Sasparilla macrumors 65816

    Jul 6, 2012
    Any chance this could get blocked by the citizens in Australia? Seems like another huge step to a world of mass surveillance that would make the East German Stasi jealous. The NSA based exploits being used by the bad guys ransomware recently shows just how flawed an idea this is - nothing this valuable is ever secure, things always leak or get stolen.

    This won't stop bad people from doing bad things, but would make for a world where nobody has any expectation of privacy and ripe for absolute abuse by a wacko government. The U.S. has demonstrated just how little protection there is in a democracy with a declining middle class to getting someone unfit for office into leadership if they say the right things - they're lucky he's a bozo and not a McCarthy, Hoover or worse...he easily could have been.

    On another angle, if something like this went through and was forced into iOS / OS X / Adroid / Windows updates the old insecure versions of OS's (without the Stasi backdoors) and hardware they're on would become the valued ones....sales of new hardware with the backdoors would take a serious hit.

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