Apple, other tech giants denounce proposed Australian law seeking encryption ‘backdoor’

“Four global tech giants – Facebook, Apple, Alphabet and Amazon – will oppose an Australian law that would require them to provide access to private encrypted data linked to suspected illegal activities, an industry lobby group said on Wednesday.,” Colin Packham reports for Reuters. “”

“Australia in August proposed fines of up to A$10 million ($7.2 million) for institutions and prison terms for individuals who do not comply with a court request to give authorities access to private data,” Packham reports. “Seen as test case as other nations explore similar laws, Facebook Inc, Alphabet Inc, Apple Inc and Amazon will jointly lobby lawmakers to amend the bill ahead of a parliamentary vote expected in a few weeks. ‘Any kind of attempt by interception agencies, as they are called in the bill, to create tools to weaken encryption is a huge risk to our digital security,’ said Lizzie O’Shea, a spokeswoman for the Alliance for a Safe and Secure Internet.”

“Technology companies have strongly opposed efforts to create what they see as a back-door to user’s data, a stand-off that was propelled into the public arena by Apple’s refusal to unlock an iPhone used by an attacker in a 2015 shooting in California,” Packham reports. “Frustrated by the deadlock, many countries are moving ahead with legislation… New Zealand said on Tuesday customs officers now have the authority to compel visitors to hand over passwords for their electronic devices. Tourists who refuse could face fines of NZ$5,000.”

Read more in the full article here.

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

Again, 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

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

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

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Lynn Weiler” for the heads up.]


  1. So you are ready to board and the security creep asks to search your backpack. What are you going to do, say “No?” That would lead to a walk to an extended search inside the Police State office. Because you are worried that you could miss the plane and lose the associated costs, you say, “Yes, of course. You may search my backpack.”

    Same with the iPhone. It stinks of excessive force and manipulation and blackmail.

    By the way, Australia is one of the “five eyes,” National Spy Apparatuses in English speaking nations who share people’s private data among themselves which, for example, allows a US spy agency to simply ask and get your personal data from Australia should it have it that the US law does not allow it to gather within the us.

    What’s totally amusing here is FB’s fake stance since it gives most of its stuff over to the Spy State anyway so I don’t get why it has joined this consortium and made a big public and dramatic display over privacy.

  2. I read that Apple is now tracking email and phone calls in iOS 12. If this is true, so much for privacy.

    And I believe there is a high probability that Apple will eventually provide back door access and also unlock phones or provide law enforcement with the tools to unlock our phones.

  3. I believe that this bill proposes to require device makers to install spyware onto devices they request. That way you don’t have to break encryption because you can just capture the screen of a person writing an iMessage.

    Saying that, I am opposed to these measures although I see both sides of the argument. One theory I have heard is that Australia has been egged into doing this because it has the weakest human rights framework out of all the Five Eyes countries, so there’s a back door — just not the type you were looking for.

    1. Yes, if a wayward shithead nation such as Australia can compel an innocent person to reveal private stuff, and that shithead nation is part of the Five Eyes Axis, then that whole nation itself is the back door. So the Five Eyes are simply avoiding the problematic issue of an electronic back door by instead designating that weakest link, Australia, to do the shithead work for them all.

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