[AusNOG] Dutton decryption bill

Paul Brooks pbrooks-ausnog at layer10.com.au
Wed Sep 12 09:48:48 EST 2018

Thanks Rob.
Internet Australia's submission is at

We're also collating other submissions at this page to aid transparency, in case the
Department doesn't publish the collection themselves.
There are currently 6 other submissions linked there, with more to be added:

  * - Massachusetts Institute of Technology: Internet Policy Research Intiative
  * - Internet Architecture Board
  * - Chris Culnane and Vanessa Teague
  * - Communications Alliance, Australian Information Industry Association, Australian
    Mobile Telecommunications Association
  * - Mark Nottingham
  * - Digital Rights Watch, Australia Privacy Foundation, Electronic Fontiers
    Australia, Access Now, NSW Council for Civil Liberties, Future Wise, Blueprint for
    Free Speech, Queensland Council for Civil Liberties

All are well worth reading.

The IAB didn't mince words - cherry picking selected paragraphs: "
> "While we normally do not review proposed legislation, we are concerned that this
> proposal might have a serious and undesirable impact upon the Internet and, taken as
> a model, the sum of similar legislation may result in the fragmentation of the
> Internet.
> ....as custodians of the Internet’s architecture,
> we are required to take a global view. This approach, if applied generally, would
> result in the
> Internet’s privacy and security being the lowest common denominator permitted by the
> actions taken
> in myriad judicial contexts. From that perspective, this approach drastically
> reduces trust in critical
> Internet infrastructure and affects the long term health and viability of the
> Internet. "

May we include the ITPA submission, or a link to the ITPA page, in that collection?

Paul (with Chair of Internet Australia hat on)

On 12/09/2018 9:07 AM, Robert Hudson wrote:
> As per my comments in August, ITPA put forward the following comment on the draft
> bill within the offiicial public comment window:
> "To whom it may concern,
> On behalf of the Information Technology Professionals Association (ITPA) and its
> members, I am writing today to express a lack of support for "The Access and
> Assistance Bill, 2018" as it currently stands.  This bill should not be introduced
> to Parliament in its current form, and certainly should not be voted into law.
> ITPA and its members recognise the fact that encrypted communication is one tool
> used by criminals to make it harder for law enforcement agencies to discover and
> track their whereabouts, plans, and other details of crimes they may have or be able
> to commit.  We appreciate the fact that the government is seeking ways to increase
> its ability to better prevent and prosecute crime.  But it is ITPA's position that
> the only real-life outcome of "The Access and Assistance Bill 2018" will be a
> negative impact to the individual privacy of Australian citizens, and that
> the proposed benefits (allowing law-enforcement to prevent or prosecute crimes) will
> not be realised.
> "The Access and Assistance Bill 2018" will not only fail to achieve its stated aim
> (criminals will simply move to using encryption  products not covered by this bill -
> most of the tools currently used in this area are not written by companies which are
> bound by this bill, and those which are will simply be traded for tools produced
> outside of Australia's jurisdiction), but it will result in a significant reduction
> of individual privacy for law-abiding citizens.
> In addition to failing to achieve the desired goals, tools created under this
> legislation to break or bypass the encryption created by commonly used applications
> will almost certainly be misused by individuals in positions of power within
> law-enforcement agencies, as we have already seen happen in other areas of
> surveillance legislation such as the mandatory metadata retention scheme.
> Further, it is certain that these tools will also become available to people outside
> of legitimate law-enforcement agencies, and will be used as a weapon against
> law-abiding citizens - the leaking of the list of "blocked" sites under Internet
> filtering regimes of the past
> (https://www.smh.com.au/national/dentists-website-on-leaked-blacklist-20090319-93cl.html)
> shows that secrets and artifacts (such as lists of websites, or access to tools) can
> and do get leaked beyond the approved area of usage).
> "The Access and Assistance Bill 2018" also has issues of governance and oversight
> which require adjustment before it could be supported.  Although there is still a
> requirement for warrants to be issued and a level of judicial oversight, a political
> appointment (The Attorney General) holds significant (and ultimate for short-term
> activities with post-activity oversight) power within this legislation.  It would be
> preferable to have a politically independent body (an individual or organisation) to
> provide the level of oversight and authority carried by the Attorney General in this
> legislation to ensure that decisions are not made under the authority of this bill
> for political purposes.
> If the government really wants to achieve better levels of policing and crime
> prevention in areas of technology, we implore the government to consult with the
> technology industry during the drafting phases of legislation, rather than after the
> draft has been put together in such a fashion as to be technically infeasible.  ITPA
> would be more than willing to be part of a consultation process to resolve issues
> with the currently proposed legislation, or for any other legislation which requires
> technical expertise to achieve success."
> On Wed, 15 Aug 2018 at 13:48, Robert Hudson <hudrob at gmail.com
> <mailto:hudrob at gmail.com>> wrote:
>     Hi Paul,
>     On Wed, 15 Aug 2018 at 13:31, Paul Brooks <pbrooks-ausnog at layer10.com.au
>     <mailto:pbrooks-ausnog at layer10.com.au>> wrote:
>         Thanks Aftab for the plug - this is something that IA has been tracking and
>         meeting in Canberra with various Minister-types down over the past 6-9
>         months, trying to determine what they were looking to do, and educate them
>         on the concerns.
>         This is data retention all over again. On one hand, as an ISP, if you don't
>         actually supply end-user devices and all the OTT messaging apps pass through
>         your network, there may not be much in this to concern.  This Bill is aimed
>         at Samsung/Google/HTC/Oppo, and OTT service providers like Apple iMessage,
>         WhatsApp, Google Hangouts, etc.
>         They were quite insistent they would not be seeking to back-door encryption,
>         and as it happens, they were right! They just want to back-door the entire
>         device. And website, which is classed in there too.
>     The legislation is sufficiently vague as to allow pretty much anything the A-G
>     thinks is reasonable at the time the A-G makes a request. 
>         If you're in Canberra on Monday night, we've got a number of people from MIT
>         Computer Science and Artificial Inelligence Labs (CSAIL) and other experts
>         that talk to USA's people, and tickets still available - From 4:30pm, with
>         free drinks provided afterwards.
>          https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/encryption-experts-session-evening-in-canberra-tickets-48911717263
>     Canberra could be hard to attend from Sydney, but this one may be important
>     enough for me to make the trip. 
>         They're taking feedback/submissions/comments for 4 weeks only - is anyone
>         planning to submit some comment?
>     ITPA is looking to provide feedback.  We'd be happy to work with other parties
>     (individuals or organisations) to put up a joint response.
>     Regards,
>     Robert

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