Apple, Google, Microsoft, and others denounce Australia’s ‘deeply flawed’ anti-encryption law

“Apple, Google and Microsoft have denounced the Australian government’s decision to pass an anti-encryption law that they claim undermines cybersecurity and human rights,” Joseph Archer reports for The Telegraph. “The Assistance and Access Bill, passed in Australian parliament last week, allows authorities to force companies and websites to reduce encryption so that the government can increase surveillance on personal communications. Any businesses that do not comply with the law, which the Silicon Valley giants have said is ‘deeply flawed,’ will be fined.”

“The technology companies, which are part of the Reform Government Surveillance coalition (RGS), said in a joint statement that the law needs to change to safeguard online security and the right to privacy of citizens,” Archer reports. “The RGS, which also includes LinkedIn, Snap, Dropbox, Twitter and Yahoo, has urged the Australian Parliament to promptly address these flaws when it reconvenes in the new year.”

Archer reports, “Apple first denounced the legislation in October, saying it will ‘weaken security for millions of law-abiding customers’ so the government can investigate a few criminals.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Not only it is “deeply flawed,” it’s morbidly stupid, too.

Here is the RGS statement, verbatim:

One of the core principles of the Reform Government Surveillance coalition (RGS) is that strong encryption of devices and services protects the privacy and data security of our users, while also promoting free expression and the free flow of information around the world. RGS has consistently opposed any government action that would undermine the cybersecurity, human rights, or the right to privacy of our users – unfortunately, the Assistance and Access Bill that was just passed through the Australian Parliament will do just that. The new Australian law is deeply flawed, overly broad, and lacking in adequate independent oversight over the new authorities. RGS urges the Australian Parliament to promptly address these flaws when it reconvenes.

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

SEE ALSO:
Backdoors: Australia passes laws allowing spies and police to snoop on encrypted communications – December 7, 2018
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
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

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