Peter Dutton wants to introduce legislation forcing companies to “assist” government agencies with decryption.
And that’s about all we know about it, even though the legislation is already at drafting stage – which isn’t really good enough.
The Greens are speaking out about the plan, with Digital Rights spokesperson Senator Jordon Steele-John calling the lack of understanding demonstrated in estimates about the implications of such legislation was “frightening”.
Senator Steele-John says Affairs Secretary Michael Pezzullo’s claim that decryption will not undermine end-to-end encryption – the protection of private data – is “complete and utter nonsense”.
“It’s a pretty simple concept; either both Mr Pezzullo and his Department have no understanding of how encryption works, or they assume that nobody else does and have insulted the intelligence of me and my staff in the process,” said Senator Steele-John.
“Quite simply the development and implementation of decryption technologies will decrease the security of end-to-end encryption; it is either 100 per cent secure or not at all!”
Senator Steele-John says obligating Australian companies providing telecommunications services and devices to assist government agencies with decryption “will fundamentally mean that the data of everyday Australians will no longer be secure”.
“I urge the Government to reconsider the development of such dangerous legislation, and guarantee the ongoing security of encrypted data in Australia.”