Privacy Blog

"Friends don’t let friends get spied on.' – Richard Stallman, President of the Free Software Foundation and longtime advocate of privacy in technology.

Australian Bill Spells Trouble for Data Privacy Around the World

Australian politicians want to make it easy for governments, hackers, identity thieves, credit card thieves, and other spies to steal your most private information. That by itself seems incredible. However, the entire issue gets pushed to the nearly unbelievable level when you realize the result could be similar gaping holes in privacy for residents of all other countries in the world!

Do you want the thieves to be able to read YOUR messages and YOUR transactions via gaping “back doors” in today’s encryption techniques that are designed to keep your private communications private? If this bill passes, we all will suffer. Several world governments, including the United States, want to compromise citizen’s liberties for the sake of national security. Don’t citizens also have a right to security?

Shockingly, the Australian bill could even ban companies from informing their customers about these security and privacy weaknesses.

The issues are explained in an article by Satyajeet Marar in The Hill web site at:

Perhaps the silliest part of this proposed legislation is the fact that it won’t work. The bill would require tech companies and platforms like WhatsApp and Facebook to build “vulnerabilities” or “backdoors” into their own products and services so government agencies can access the private data of their users on-demand — with virtually no judicial oversight. However, it would only restrict corporations and larger non-profits. Private software developers and corporations in countries that are more freedom-loving than Australia will always be able to create effective encryption products that do not contain “back doors” and then release them anonymously.

I suspect such privately-created products would quickly become very popular worldwide.

Who do you want spying on your communications and your online transactions? Credit card thieves? Chinese hackers? Or spies in your own country’s government?

This is one piece of proposed legislation that will fail, even if it is passed.

Categories: Encryption, Online Privacy & Security

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