Australian citizens are reeling after the newly proposed legislation has been announced in which new laws will force tech companies to provide access to private user messages whether encrypted or not. Applications like WhatsApp allow users across the globe to communicate freely and effectively through end-to-end encryption. The new law wants to put an end to encrypted communication, or perhaps, encryption in Australia in entirety.
Attorney General, George Brandis of Australia says that “ if we can’t get the voluntary cooperation we are seeking, is to extend the existing law that says to individuals, citizens and to companies that in certain circumstances you have an obligation to assist law enforcement if it is in within your power to do so.” Sounds like a bunch of mumbo jumbo no? Well, unfortunately, it is.
In order to provide unencrypted messages, these companies would personally have to design special backdoors for the Australian government. Or a specific type of keylogger system would have to be developed in order to log and collect user messages while users are typing messages. Either way, the technology needed to encrypt messages is borderline criminal–which is ironic, since the authorities are seeking to unravel messages to find criminals themselves.
Criminals often use tools like keyloggers and backdoors to steal passwords, important data, pictures, and other content. Whatever, the case, the government agrees that access to encryption is essential, regardless of how it is achieved.
Brandis explained to the Sydney Morning Herald in June that “at one point or more of that process, access to the encrypted communication is essential for intelligence and law enforcement. If there are encryption keys then those encryption keys have to be put at the disposal of the authorities.”
If the authorities did force the companies to develop backdoors or other built-in security flaws into their app, critics worry that people would simply stop using the apps and instead use other means of secure communication.
Most of the extremist terrorist groups like Isis use other methods like using custom open-source encryption software–which is not operated by one company that could develop backdoors or keyloggers. This means that they can completely and safely encrypt their files with advanced uncrackable algorithms which is out of the scope of what the Australian government could hope to decode.
However, the Australian government doesn’t admit defeat to the simple mathematics of encryption algorithms. Turnbull, the Australian prime minister, laughably explains that the laws of mathematics don’t apply to Australian law, that “the laws of mathematics are indeed very commendable, but the only law that applies in Australia is the law of Australia.”
TorGuard VPN’s advanced 256-AES uncrackable encryption is still operating strong in Australia, and unlike Turnbull, we believe in math.