When Turnbull and Brandis shuffle off to some home for the bewildered in a few years it is all of us that will be left with the legacy of their carry-on.
Here are some of the victories that these two beauties have presided over, and they don’t even know how it works, not even a little bit:
- Australia’s encryption thwart thought is fraught
- New law would force Facebook and Google to give police access to encrypted messages
- Australia’s mandatory data retention scheme has passed both houses of parliament after the Coalition and Labor stared down privacy-based objections from minor parties and independents.
In an effort to drag the continent out from under the “stupid boy” stereotype, the Lowy Institute for International Policy, has just attempted to polish a turd by proposing that despite everything “Australia might be on the right encryption-cracking track” after all.
“From a cyber security perspective, as Patrick Gray has pointed out, sufficient safeguards could be placed around these ‘updates’ to ensure that they couldn’t be reverse engineered – they wouldn’t need to be a ‘backdoor,’ open to abuse. And by focusing on a device rather than a specific app, the displacement effect, so obvious in focusing government efforts on just What’s App or Telegram, would not apply.
In theory then, this model appears promising. How closely it aligns with the legislation promised by Turnbull and George Brandis last week remains to be seen. But whichever legislative model Australia pursues, its progress will be watched closely by governments across the world. And of course, by a whole host of technology and communications companies.
Recent developments suggest that underneath the techno-babble, political point scoring and counter-terrorism blame game, governments the world over are faced by a very real policy problem. Australia may prove to be the test case for a policy solution that has far reaching consequences for privacy, technological development and the future of law enforcement operations.”
Try again gents.