Australia Proposes Law That Would Compel Tech Companies to Decrypt Messages

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
48,318
9,827



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.
"We need to ensure the internet is not used as a dark place for bad people to hide their criminal activities from the law," Australian Prim Minister Malcolm Turnbull told reporters in Sydney.

"The reality is, however, that these encrypted messaging applications and voice applications are being used obviously by all of us, but they're also being used by people who seek to do us harm."
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
 

JosephAW

macrumors 68030
May 14, 2012
2,852
3,154
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.
 

c0ppo

macrumors 68000
Feb 11, 2013
1,611
2,852
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.
 

crawfish963

macrumors 6502a
Apr 16, 2010
570
423
Texas
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.

Source?
 
  • Like
Reactions: craig1410

ArtOfWarfare

macrumors G3
Nov 26, 2007
8,662
4,225
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?
 

WRChris

macrumors 6502a
Aug 17, 2016
644
929
Indiana
What, the cops being able to tap people's phone lines when they are organising a crime? Please... cut the libertarian junk.
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?
 

Adrian Andrews

macrumors newbie
Jan 2, 2017
11
9
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.
Absolute nonsense!
 

2010mini

macrumors 601
Jun 19, 2013
4,237
3,963
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.
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.
 

supremedesigner

macrumors 6502a
Dec 9, 2005
768
247
Gainesville, Fl
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.
Source? And what company?
 
  • Like
Reactions: hotgril

c0ppo

macrumors 68000
Feb 11, 2013
1,611
2,852
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.
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 :)
 

simonmet

macrumors 68020
Sep 9, 2012
2,375
3,189
Sydney
And yet Australians keep telling themselves that they're in the 'lucky country'. Hopefully New Zealand won't do something this stupid.
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.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Huck

Sasparilla

macrumors 65816
Jul 6, 2012
1,406
2,168
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.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Huck and VulchR
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.