Anti-Encryption Uber Alles

If you have never read George Orwell’s novel, “1984” we heartily recommend it. Featuring common sayings such as, “big brother is watching…”, these days it might also be retitled, “2019”. The value of privacy is on the up and that’s because of that economic principle called supply and demand. Privacy is in high demand because these days it seems so very scarce. Back to George Orwell.

Let’s for a moment, imagine we are living in a Dystopia and Australia is now the Totalitarian Nation State of Orwellia. A place where democratically elected leaders are replaced because of internal party politics (whoever has access to the most information and damaging insights wins); the person you voted for to be Prime Minister is banished to the Backbench; and access to your personal online information is accessible to law enforcement agencies by way of a statute which mandates you hand over anything they ask for. Gasp! Well, imagine no more, it’s here.

The Assistance and Access Bill Decoded

The Bill that passed at record speed, roughly 10 seconds by conservative estimates, through both the upper and lower houses of Parliament on December 6th, is so riven with flaws, that we have decided to compile a top-5- summary of what is so very wrong with it. The list is not conclusive!

  • Ignorance is Bliss? The Men and Women in Suits in Canberra are not tech savvy. There is an alarming dismissal of the fact that by weakening the system for law enforcement agencies to access information, they create a systemic weakness that allows the “Bad Guys” to access private online data…Put another way, incorporating Malware into the Encryption to allow the supposed Good Guys access ALSO allows the Bad Guys in.
  • The Assumption that the good guys are inherently good and well intentioned is to put it lightly, a gamble, akin to throwing your lifesavings on the grey horse in the last race at Flemington for no other reason than you like the look of the animal. An uninformed decision with a high probability of catastrophe.
  • The opposition Labor Party and their Leader’s capitulation smells… wrong.

“After proposing amendments to the Bill which Labor party members widely called out as being inappropriate in the House of Representatives, the Labor Party has dropped its proposals, allowing the Bill to pass through parliament before the summer break”. To put it mildly, it was a head-scratcher as far as capitulations go. To keep scratching (and shaking) your head, read the details here

By way of explanation, “let’s just make Australians safer over Christmas”,Opposition Labor Leader Bill Shorten.

  • Politics of the English Language!When a policy is implemented wrapped in a shroud of ambiguity and stupefying vagueness, one of two things is occurring.
  1. Stupidity by Intent: Those in power purposefully employ the use of language so intentionally vague and misleading with the express aim of rendering the public uninterested and uninformed.
  1. Stupidity: Those in power are clueless regarding the complexities of legislation they have just implemented.
  • They’ve decided they’re going to rule over everyone with an iron fist

The Five players: within International Intelligence gathering five countries have a unique agreement. Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States share with each other intelligence they gather on their own citizens. With Australia being the first country to implement a bill which directly undermines and contravenes online data and privacy, we have to question it.Anti-Encryption laws have been unsuccessful in these countries, but we with our lack of a Bill of Rights are always eager to please. Does this explain the speed at which the Bill was passed? Does this account for Labor’s shameless capitulation? Are orders coming from elsewhere? Are they listening? Can they hear me?…