Earlier today Australia’s House of Representatives passed the Assistance and Access Bill, which is also known as the Anti-Encryption Bill.
Concerns over the rushed Bill are high – especially as the parliamentary year draws to a close. Today’s amendments have done little to clarify specifics around the potential power that the Bill could give government and law enforcement over digital privacy.
And they certainly don’t address the impact that adding backdoor security access could have on the Australian tech economy on a global scale – especially if you take The European Union’s strict General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) laws into consideration.
While the Bill can still be blocked by the Senate – Australian Twitter has been quite vocal over today’s proceedings, especially in regards to the ALP’s involvement.
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Concern over today’s vote was already ramping up yesterday
Whatever you feel about the #AABill in Australia, I agree with the @thelawcouncil that rushing such complex legislation through in days is reckless. At the least, these unprecedented laws need far more expert scrutiny & debate. https://t.co/mhSWiC2FP8 #auspol
— Mike Cannon-Brookes ???????????????????????? (@mcannonbrookes) December 5, 2018
Wow this #aaBill over in Australia is a real shitshow isn’t it.
Good luck on all those half-assed firmware backdoors vendors will insert “just for the Australia version.” I’m sure they’ll be tested just fine. lmao
— SoS (@SwiftOnSecurity) December 5, 2018
What about Australian tech start ups under #aaBill? Their products will be fucking worthless under #aaBill, completely unable to be exported or used in the E.U. Backdoored software isn't compatible with the GDPR
— Asher Wolf (@Asher_Wolf) December 5, 2018
The EXACT reason Huawei were banned from NBN & 5G is the fear of Chinese Government back doors. Now Liberal, Nats & ALP almost legislated requiring the same thing in Australia. This is how you kill our software industry and EVERYTHING is software now. #aabill
— John Lindsay ???????? (@bigjsl) December 4, 2018
I've spent >20 years building cryptography and security software. Now the Australian govt is considering laws that could coerce me to add backdoors. This is akin to requiring a doctor to infect a patient or an engineer to weaken a bridge. @AustralianLabor must oppose this #aabill
— Damien Miller (@damienmiller) December 5, 2018
It all came to a head in today’s debate, which resulted in the Bill passing in the Lower House
It's fine, they're only asking for 173 amendments to be moved together. 173. Amendments most of us only saw an hour or two ago. 173.
— Senator Jordon Steele-John (@SenatorJordon) December 6, 2018
Just voted to oppose the rushed encryption laws. These laws threaten our safety, our privacy and our industry. Sadly, it was just me and Andrew Wilkie opposing the #aabill
— Adam Bandt (@AdamBandt) December 6, 2018
#AAbill just passed the house as amended (yes, all 173) despite the disagreement ????♂️????
— Senator Jordon Steele-John (@SenatorJordon) December 6, 2018
— Miner O' Salt (@TheSaltminer) December 6, 2018
And thank you to @AdamBandt @WilkieMP for being the ONLY MPs willing to stand on the side of reason and vote against the #AABill today. #Defendencryption
(Photo: Mike Bowers for @GuardianAus) pic.twitter.com/J5MZ7h3CAu
— Digital Rights Watch (@DRWaus) December 6, 2018
i don't understand why @AustralianLabor is supporting the #aabill at all. why? Whose vote are they courting? All those speeches were 'this legislation sucks complete bullocks, but we're going to vote for it anyway"
— Patrick Lum (@jintor_au) December 6, 2018
Just called the office of @karenandrewsmp and they didn't even know what I was talking about in regards to the #aabill and couldn't even tell me her stance (in support) until I got put on hold 3 times. These people don't even know what they are doing to technology
— Amy Stroud (@amy_stroud) December 6, 2018
remember ALP cares so little about #aabill they couldn't even filibuster to smoko. If you see an ALP mp ask how it feels to cup Dutton's balls.
— Shaun Branden (@parsect) December 6, 2018
Breaking: GDPR Bans Entire Country #aabill
— Tegan Jones (@Tegan_Writes) December 6, 2018
Shutting down the government might be the best option at this stage, before they break everything. #AABill
— Giselle Rosman (@jazzrozz) December 6, 2018
And because things weren’t crazy enough, the Encryption Bill is being tied to the passing of the Migration Amendment (Urgent Medical Treatment) Bill to remove children from Nauru
It’s encryption vs medical evacuations in the Parliament right now. The government is trying to run down the clock to 4.30 to avoid losing a legislative vote. In doing so, it sacrifices the encryption legislation from passing.
— Amy Remeikis (@AmyRemeikis) December 6, 2018
We are now in the stunning position where the government may have to sacrifice the passage of the encryption legislation it has repeatedly argued was so essential to fight terrorists over Christmas in order to save itself from a defeat on the refugee bill #auspol #aabill
— Bevan Shields (@BevanShields) December 6, 2018
PM @ScottMorrisonMP now (in full shark jump mode) claiming that preventing critically sick people access to a doctor is necessary for our national security. This. Is. Insane. #auspol #KidsOffNauru #BackTheBill
— Justin Whelan (@juswhe) December 6, 2018
— Asher Wolf (@Asher_Wolf) December 6, 2018
1. The #aabill, as proposed, is astoundingly poorly-considered.
2. Withholding effective medical treatment to children in detention centres is "evil work".
3. Your tweet is utterly disgraceful, and you should pay heed to the hundreds of people who have responded. Shame on you!
— Lev Lafayette (@lev_lafayette) December 6, 2018
I’m sitting on Senate floor close to tears as watch @ScottMorrisonMP Gov corrupt process to leave sick kids, pregnant women/suicidal men languishing offshore at Xmas. Know any deaths that come from them stopping the democratic process today is on them. The blood is on their hands
— Kon Karapanagiotidis (@Kon__K) December 6, 2018
The Senate has just passed legislation to get #KidsOffNauru. The Govt has knocked off work early, to stop it being passed in the House. So sick kids stay on Nauru. Now that is sick.
— Senator Murray Watt (@MurrayWatt) December 6, 2018
What a ridiculous proposition: passing a law that most agree is bad and then fixing up the mess later (maybe?) #aabill
— Ben Grubb ???? (@bengrubb) December 6, 2018
If you want to keep up to date with whats going on in the House of Reps, you can watch live or follow #aabill on Twitter.