The #AABill sucks for your privacy and here's why...

This is something that is currently happening in Australian politics but it may well set a precedent globally. The Australian government has just passed a bill that let's them force companies to decrypt encrypted messages. I found this all a bit confusing when I first started following it on Twitter so I'm guessing others do too. So I'm going to try to explain it in really simple terms and then I'll link you to some resources that go deeper.

A look at Twitter shows that privacy experts, coders, start ups and civil rights groups are all pretty unhappy with the AA Bill

A look at Twitter shows that privacy experts, coders, start ups and civil rights groups
are all pretty unhappy with the AA Bill

Remember when Apple refused to give the US government access to a terrorist's encrypted messages? That was because they had no way of doing it without making absolutely everyone's' encrypted messages visible. This new law means that in  Australia Apple won't be able to refuse this sort of request anymore.

Slippery slope
Now on paper it's just for bad guys "criminals, terrorists and pedophiles" (I love how pedophiles are thrown in for good measure to really scare the public). But it's a slippery slope. Do you really trust government to be totally impartial here? Do you want be tracked for ordering some bud or blackmailed for sending someone nudes? Even if you're a model citizen it's still making it easier to hack your finances.

I hear you saying "Oh Jules Futuro you're such a tinfoil hat conspiracy theorist. Why don't you relax a little and drink this Orwell Kool Aid duuuude?" Just to be clear I don't think this is an intricately implemented master plan - our polies are way too dumb for that. But explain this to me: Why have anti-corruption bodies been removed from the list of agencies that can access the new powers? You know... the bodies that are meant to keep an eye on corrupt politicians. You don't actually have to be that smart when you have a big hammer.
 

I don't want to be petty or ageist but man do these photos make it hard

I don't want to be petty or ageist but man do these photos make it hard

Uneconomical
In reality it's quite hard to break an encryption. It takes time and resources. Who will pay for that?
 

¯\_(ツ)_/¯


And how will government deal with the fact that a business's expensively developed encryption is totally useless once they've broken it open? In a free market the request like this may well put a start up out of business.
 

¯\_(ツ)_/¯


And which angel investor is going to put money into an Aussie company in the first place when there's such a glaring liability?
 

¯\_(ツ)_/¯


That's why you're seeing business as well as civil rights groups get angry.


~Here is a good SBS article and video that give an overview on the bill without taking sides~

~...and here is are more pointed and astute opinion piece in The Guardian~