“Australia Thursday passed controversial laws allowing spies and police to snoop on the encrypted communications of suspected terrorists and criminals, as experts warned the ‘unprecedented powers’ had far-reaching implications for global cybersecurity,” AFP reports. “There has been extensive debate about the laws and their reach beyond Australia’s shores in what is seen as the latest salvo between global governments and tech firms over national security and privacy.”

“Under the legislation, Canberra can compel local and international providers — including overseas communication giants such as Facebook and WhatsApp — to remove electronic protections, conceal covert operations by government agencies, and help with access to devices or services,” AFP reports. “National cyber security adviser Alastair MacGibbon said police have been “going blind or going deaf because of encryption” used by suspects. Brushing off warnings from tech giants that the laws would undermine internet security, MacGibbon said they would be similar to traditional telecommunications intercepts, just updated to take in modern technologies.”

“The Law Council of Australia, the peak body for the legal profession, said it had ‘serious concerns’ about the changes. ‘We now have a situation where unprecedented powers to access encrypted communications are now law, even though parliament knows serious problems exist,’ it said in a statement,” AFP reports. “Experts such as the UN special rapporteur on the right to privacy Joseph Cannataci have described the bill as ‘poorly conceived’ and ‘equally as likely to endanger security as not.'”

Tim de Sousa, a principal at privacy and cybersecurity consultancy elevenM, told AFP, ‘If you require encryption to be undermined to help law enforcement investigations, then you are ultimately undermining that encryption in all circumstances. Those backdoors will be found and exploited by others, making everyone less secure.’ Meanwhile, the Australian legislation could allow for policy laundering by its ‘Five Eyes’ intelligence-sharing partners — Canada, Britain, New Zealand, and the United States — who cannot enact similar powers because of constitutional or human rights protections. ‘There is an extraterritorial dimension to it, where for example the US would be able to make… a request directly to Australia to get information from Facebook or a tech company,’ said Queensland University of Technology’s technology regulation researcher Monique Mann.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: So these blooming idiots in Australia have passed a law requiring everyone to weaken their products to the point of destruction. We’ll see which companies comply or not and how long this idiocy remains on the books before being amended out of existence.

Once again, for the myopic dullards who voted for this mentally-deficient, incongruous, and illogical farce:

Encryption is binary; it’s either on or off. You cannot have both. You either have privacy via full encryption or you don’t by forcing back doors upon Apple or anybody else. It’s all or nothing. — MacDailyNews, March 8, 2017

Why don’t these genius politicians next attempt to legislate in purple unicorns? They’re equally as plentiful as secure backdoors.MacDailyNews, October 3, 2018

There have been people that suggest that we should have a back door. But the reality is if you put a backdoor in, that backdoor’s for everybody, for good guys and bad guys. — Apple CEO Tim Cook, December 2015

This is not about this phone. This is about the future. And so I do see it as a precedent that should not be done in this country or in any country. This is about civil liberties and is about people’s abilities to protect themselves. If we take encryption away… the only people that would be affected are the good people, not the bad people. Apple doesn’t own encryption. Encryption is readily available in every country in the world, as a matter of fact, the U.S. government sponsors and funs encryption in many cases. And so, if we limit it in some way, the people that we’ll hurt are the good people, not the bad people; they will find it anyway. — Apple CEO Tim Cook, February 2016

SEE ALSO:
Apple to Australia: This is no time to weaken encryption; access only for ‘good guys’ is a false premise – October 13, 2018
Apple urges Australian government not to destroy encryption with ‘backdoors’ – October 12, 2018
Apple, other tech giants denounce proposed Australian law seeking encryption ‘backdoor’ – October 3, 2018
More proof that iPhone backdoors are a stupid idea: Massive cache of law enforcement personnel data leaks – July 2, 2018
Bipartisan ‘Secure Data Act’ would make it illegal for U.S. government to demand backdoors – May 11, 2018
Bill Gates thinks Apple should unlock iPhones at the government’s request – February 13, 2018
FBI Director Wray calls inability to access electronic devices an ‘urgent public safety issue’ – January 9, 2018
Tim Cook’s refusal to create iPhone backdoor for FBI vindicated by ‘WannaCry’ ransomware attack on Windows PCs – May 15, 2017
The Microsoft Tax: Leaked NSA malware hijacks Windows PCs worldwide; Macintosh unaffected – May 13, 2017
Bungling Microsoft singlehandedly proves that ‘back doors’ are a stupid idea – August 10, 2016
U.S. Congressman Ted Lieu says strong encryption without backdoors is a ‘national security priority’ – April 29, 2016
iPhone backdoors would pose a threat, French privacy chief warns – April 8, 2016
The U.S. government’s fight with Apple could backfire big time – March 14, 2016
Obama pushes for iPhone back door; Congressman Issa blasts Obama’s ‘fundamental lack of understanding’ – March 12, 2016
U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch backs U.S. government overreach on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert – March 11, 2016
Former CIA Director: FBI wants to dictate iPhone’s operating system – March 11, 2016
FBI warns it could demand Apple’s iPhone code and secret electronic signature – March 10, 2016
California Democrat Diane Feinstein backs U.S. government overreach over Apple – March 10, 2016
Snowden: U.S. government’s claim it can’t unlock San Bernardino iPhone is ‘bullshit’ – March 10, 2016
Apple could easily lock rights-trampling governments out of future iPhones – February 20, 2016
Apple CEO Tim Cook lashes out at Obama administration over encryption, bemoans White House lack of leadership – January 13, 2016
Obama administration demands master encryption keys from firms in order to conduct electronic surveillance against Internet users – July 24, 2013