[AusNOG] Dutton decryption bill

Mark Newton newton at atdot.dotat.org
Sat Sep 1 18:00:39 EST 2018

On 20 Aug 2018, at 10:55 AM, Paul Wilkins <paulwilkins369 at gmail.com> wrote:

> Because the internet is a public medium, unlike radio and television, you don't require a license to publish content.

That makes zero sense.

Radio and television are public media, using public spectrum, and that’s the basis of their licensing scheme.

The Internet is not, and that’s the basis of the lack of its licensing scheme.

In what sense do you mistakenly believe the internet is “public”? In what mistaken sense do you think that public things don’t get licensed?

> The audience doesn't require a license (unless you're the UK where you need a TV license).

You don’t need a TV license in the UK to use the Internet. Not sure what you’re trying to say here.

> So the regulatory domain is different. I expect coming down the track, crypto will become a licensed technology, and you won't be able to get a certificate without government approval.

That also makes zero sense.

You can make your own certificates. You can run your own CA. You can run crypto without certificates.

Your prediction also makes very little sense because it would represent a sharp inflection point in the arc of history, which is to have barriers to crypto steadily removed. As recently as the 1990s crypto was regulated as a munition, with licensing and export controls; that’s mostly now been dismantled, and this bill can perhaps be seen as a post-braindeath limb twitch spasm from the agencies who used to have dominion over this subject matter area, and who now do not.

So I’m not sure where that “expectation” you’re describing has come from.

> We should also remember that unlike radio and television, the internet doesn't need only a regulatory regime, but also needs to be policed. 

Are you serious, Paul? Radio and television are policed within an inch of their lives, both licensed and unlicensed.

The internet, by contrast, is so poorly policed that the actual police STILL haven’t worked out how to work with it, despite its ubiquitous availability for more than 30 years.

> This bill is pretty weak beer compared to what data retention was as far as making inroads on the right to privacy, which ended up being very much watered down to what it might have been but for strong public opposition. Maintain the rage for when Barnaby Joyce proposes judicial wiretaps for radio and television.

This bill proposes wide-scale removal of privacy protections so the Government can access content.

I’m at a complete loss to understand how you can say that that’s small in scale compared to data retention. 

Are you actually serious?

I think you have a conceptual model of the internet that’s very divergent from the reality most of us live in. I’d love to know why you believe these things. Maybe write a book or something?

  - mark

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