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Apple to Australia: “This is no time to weaken encryption”

Posted by On 11:10 AM

Apple to Australia: “This is no time to weaken encryption”

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Apple to Australia: “This is no time to weaken encryption”
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Australian gov’t wants to force tech firms to weaken cryptoApple has filed its formal opposition to a new bill currently being proposed by the Australian government that critics say would weaken encryption.

If it passes, the "Assistance and Access Bill 2018" would create a new type of warrant that would allow what governments often call "lawful access" to thwart encryption, something that the former Australian attorney general proposed last year.

The California company said in a filing provided to reporters on Friday that the proposal was flawed.

"This is no time to wea ken encryption," the company wrote. "There is profound risk of making criminals’ jobs easier, not harder. Increasingly strongerâ€"not weakerâ€"encryption is the best way to protect against these threats."

Apple took direct aim at what American authorities have called the "going dark" problemâ€"the notion that strong encryption makes it far too difficult for law enforcement to access hardened devices.

Further Reading

Don’t want New Zealand officials to get into your phone? Pay up to NZ$5,000The Department of Justice and the FBI have pushed for something similar for decades to no availâ€"no specific legislation has been put forward in the United States since the failed "Clipper Chip" proposal during the Clinton administration. However, high-ranking DOJ and FBI officials during both the Obama and Trump administrations have continued to lambast this issue.

"Some suggest that exceptions can be made, and access to encrypted data could be created just for only those sworn to uphold the public good," Apple continued. "That is a false premise. Encryption is simply math. Any process that weakens the mathematical models that protect user data for anyone will by extension weaken the protections for everyone. It would be wrong to weaken security for millions of law-abiding customers in order to investigate the very few who pose a threat."

Dozens of other parties filed other briefs, offering up their comments about this proposed legislation.

The Office of the Victorian Information Commissioner expressed similar concerns, as did Riana Pfefferkorn, a Stanford legal fellow, who called the bill "dangerous and misguided."

Meanwhile, the Police Federation of Australia offered its support of the bill.

Cyrus Farivar Cyrus is a Senior Tech Policy Reporter a t Ars Technica, and is also a radio producer and author. His latest book, Habeas Data, about the legal cases over the last 50 years that have had an outsized impact on surveillance and privacy law in America, is out now from Melville House. He is based in Oakland, California.Source: Google Australia | Netizen 24 Australia

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