Home Affairs reveals Australian authorities already using new encryption powers

Written by Andrew Newbury

Thursday 31 January, 2019

This is how it starts, how under the guise of “security” our freedom and privacy is stripped away. A thoroughly bad law has been implemented and supported by both sides of Australian politics. What’s worse than the impact on our individual privacy is what it means for the state of cryptography across the entire Internet: purposefully allowing back doors to be built into core components of the technology foundation is ripe for abuse by both state and non state actors.

I’m reminded too of Tuttle from Brazil, the municipal air-conditioning repairman branded a terrorist. Why? Because he’s been labelled as something simply because he’s trying to help (which he does), he says “Listen, kid, we’re all in it together.” Not see the film? Sure it’s “out there” set in a fascist dystopian bureaucratic Orwellian 1984 future and well worth the time investment. You could do for, far worse things with your time, recommend watching, directed by Terry Gilliam and co written by Tom Stoppard, the comic genius who brought us Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead.

We deserve freedom of thought and freedom of communication, a sad outcome under the guise of our safety. Big brother is smiling down at every one of us and in the guise of security we’ve introduced back doors ripe for abuse. In a democracy it is the just pursuit of the demos to hold in check the actions of our elected representatives. That said though this is a complex issue and I’m reminded on one of my politics lecturers at University who posed the question “would the people willingly vote for increased taxation, even if it were needed?”. Sure this example is trite but it does underline the need for decisions to sometimes be made that are unpopular, that said this isn’t one of them. There are some essential foundations to freedom which cannot and should never be garnered away.