[AusNOG] Dutton decryption bill

James Gray james at gray.net.au
Thu Aug 16 11:39:23 EST 2018

> On 16 Aug 2018, at 11:09 am, Paul Julian <paul at buildingconnect.com.au> wrote:
> Hi Paul,
> Where do you even start ?
> I would love to be able to comment on these things properly but how do you structure a response that isn’t just a whinge and saying that it’s not fair and blah blah, it would need to offer alternatives or suggestions on how else this could be accomplished or why it shouldn’t be in the first place.
> I would be interested in working with others as I think this is totally NOT ok, but I just don’t know where to even start, anybody ?
> Regards
> Paul

Here’s some useful, and thought-proving counter-points to the proposed changes to the law.

- https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/the-fallacy-of-you-have-nothing-to-fear-if-you-have-nothing-to-hide/ <https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/the-fallacy-of-you-have-nothing-to-fear-if-you-have-nothing-to-hide/>
- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nothing_to_hide_argument <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nothing_to_hide_argument>

The bottom line is, we all have a fundamental human right to privacy (UN - The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 12):

No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.

However, the Australian government has run rough-shod over our obligations under International declarations in recent history so I don’t see this as being a particular encumbrance on their latest step toward totalitarianism.

In a democratic society, is it appropriate for government to control our access to secured communications, and if so, what level of control should they be able to exert? In my opinion, if this proposal is passed into law, we the public, will have no guarantees that ANY communique over a “secured” channel will stay secure from either the state or nefarious actors. Once the genie is out of the bottle, the only safe harbour will be clandestine secure communication outside the influence of the state; basically do exactly what the criminals will do and go “underground”.

While my view may be at odds with many, maybe some in this group too, I fundamentally believe we have the right to expect private conversations stay private (even if those communiques may deviate into criminality). What is legal today may not be tomorrow, and historic activities framed differently can conceivably be misconstrued as criminal activity. Like the flawed attempts to filter torrent sites and anyone wanting access can easily by-pass the restrictions, this attack on encryption can and will be circumvented too (although inconvenient). However, in the process the over-reach of government continues and the vast majority of people lose access to truly secure communication. It’s a slippery slope from there to a totalitarian dystopia.

My $0.02 worth…you get what you pay for :)


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