Australian government to ask for voluntary access to encrypted Apple data

Posted:
in General Discussion
Australia's attorney general will reportedly meet with officials from Apple later this week in a bid to gain voluntary sharing of encrypted data with the country's spy and law enforcement agencies.




While voluntary assistance is preferable, the Australian government is still working on legislation that will give it "coercive power," Attorney-General George Brandis told Sky News.

"It's not good enough frankly for anyone to hide behind the fact that there is a new technology that enables these communication to be encrypted, to say I'm sorry we're not prepared to cooperate with you," he argued.

Apple is unlikely to provide any voluntary data beyond what it already shares with government agencies when served with a legal request, such as email and photos stored on iCloud accounts. Services such as iMessage use end-to-end encryption, meaning that by definition, only the sender and the recipient have keys -- Apple would have to rewrite its software to provide useful content.

Likewise, the company has famously resisted building any deliberate backdoors into the full-disk encryption on iOS devices, claiming that doing so would just weaken product security and expose its customers to attacks and unwarranted surveillance.

By November Australia's ruling party will propose legislation requiring companies like Apple, Facebook, and Google to hand over communications data when presented with a court order, in the same way as telecoms firms. Brandis has suggested that the law can be enforced without backdoors, but that may difficult or impossible given the growing prevalance of end-to-end encryption.
«13

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 41
    Since Apple purportedly is on the spree to help lease and finance some equipment for their supply chain contractors, they might as well just send a couple of sand pounding machines to the Aussie Gov-t.
    Rayz2016longpath
  • Reply 2 of 41
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 3,943member
    The fact that this bloke thinks this technology is "new" just demonstrates how out of his depth and out of touch he really is. 
    mike1longpathuraharalostkiwiwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 3 of 41
    chasmchasm Posts: 703member
    How does "lolno" sound?
    longpathStrangeDaysjony0
  • Reply 4 of 41
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 3,943member
    chasm said:
    How does "lolno" sound?
    The whole thing makes no sense. Apple will hand over the data with a court order. Whether the requesting agency will be able to read it is another matter. 
    anton zuykovlongpathlostkiwiwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 5 of 41
    mike1mike1 Posts: 1,675member
    Apple can provide the encrypted data and say "Here, have a go at it. Let our great, great, great, great, great grandchildren know how you make out."
    longpathwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 6 of 41
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 6,187member
    I always think back to the Third Reich’s Enigma Machine in WWII. Encrypted messaging has around for millennia, even the Pharaonic Egyptians used it apparently. It’s always been a cat and mouse game between the encryption and the code breakers. It’s just harder these days. If Apple acquiesces to these demands or if laws are passed forcing cooperation the bad actors will simply use some other form of encryption that is beyond the reach of law. And the game will go on.
    longpathlostkiwiwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 7 of 41
    jbdragonjbdragon Posts: 1,782member
    Well here we go again! When will they learn. They want some type of magical solution that just doesn't exist. What it really means, yet won't just outright say it these days is a back door.
    anton zuykovlongpathlostkiwiwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 8 of 41
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,725member
    They truly don't have a god damn clue!
    So, they want some universal key and I'll be quite OK if any regime democratic or not, can just pear in on whatever and not just that, be sure that this key will not be lost or "lost" (called resold) the very first day to the highest bidder?
    If they want the encrypted data only, well, hey I'm all for that, give them everything they want.
    anton zuykovlongpathlostkiwi
  • Reply 9 of 41
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 6,187member
    So we as a society must accept the fact that if we want to remain free a good number of us must be prepared to die in terrorist attacks? Is that what this argument boils down to? 
  • Reply 10 of 41
    amar99amar99 Posts: 20member
    Don't people realize that "encrypted communication" is no more searchable than an in-person conversation? Why isn't the government demanding access to listen in on every single in-person conversation?? I mean I don't get the argument that everything that CAN be tracked SHOULD be tracked. The people who defend government behavior in this manner aren't thinking beyond the sensational headlines, the buzz words, and the common stories governments tell us these days about all the reasons they need access to every nook and crany of every person's life in order to "keep us safe." It's an easy road to keep going down, if you don't realize you've already started down it. I hope people wake up in their thinking and realize the world hasn't changed all that much since before 9/11. The main difference is that war is accepted as "common" and your privacy is accepted as "nonexistent." The threats haven't changed. Only people's willingness to give up a part of what they used to consider obvious rights in life. Oh right, for the sake of "national security" and "safety" it's all worth it, right?
    edited July 2017 pujones1lostkiwibonobobEsquireCatswatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 11 of 41
    thrangthrang Posts: 715member

    Broadly, this will be a fascinating long-term story as governments eventually start passing laws or imposing sanctions/import restrictions for technologies that don't let them gain access to data. Yet tech companies and their customers have the right to protection of their personal data (if a government forces back-doors to be installed, and a platform is hacked with the personal data/financial information of millions of people exposed, who is responsible?)

    Perhaps tech can come up with a solution that meets the legitimate needs of law enforcement and anti-terrorism without throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

    longpathwatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 41
    tundraboytundraboy Posts: 1,576member
    lkrupp said:
    So we as a society must accept the fact that if we want to remain free a good number of us must be prepared to die in terrorist attacks? Is that what this argument boils down to? 
    Yes.  Freedom isn't free remember?  But you're raising a false argument.   Claiming that a smartphone backdoor will significantly reduce terrorism is just plain stupid.  Bad actors can just install any of the free encryption packages out there and now their communications will still be inaccessible while for the rest of us, our privacy and security is compromised.

    In the wake of the NSA breach that released those exploits to the public, any argument that a backdoor can be safely kept away from criminals and despotic governments should by be laughed out of the room every time somebody raises such.
    edited July 2017 longpathpujones1StrangeDayslostkiwiindyfxentropyswatto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 41
    zimmiezimmie Posts: 151member
    Manufacturers of safes are not required to maintain a list of all of their customers' combinations. Let's say law enforcement believes a customer has something illegal in a safe and a judge agrees; they have a warrant to open it. The manufacturer can provide technical details on how it is constructed to help a safecracker open it, but the manufacturer cannot provide the combination. I do not see why technology companies should be held to a different standard.

    And honestly, I'm a little surprised the NRA hasn't weighed in on this in the United States.
    longpathpujones1StrangeDayslostkiwitrackeroz
  • Reply 14 of 41
    lkrupp said:
    So we as a society must accept the fact that if we want to remain free a good number of us must be prepared to die in terrorist attacks? Is that what this argument boils down to? 
    According to the mayor of London, you have to accept it.
    "Terror attacks are “part and parcel of life in a big city,” Khan later told the Evening Standard just hours after police foiled multiple terror attacks in New Jersey and New York. "

    Also, terrorist attacks do not happen because of the encryption. There is another reason for those... Blaming the inability in preventing attacks on encryption, is like blaming attacks on the  availability of trucks and knives.
    longpathpujones1lostkiwi
  • Reply 15 of 41
    joogabahjoogabah Posts: 107member
    lkrupp said:
    So we as a society must accept the fact that if we want to remain free a good number of us must be prepared to die in terrorist attacks? Is that what this argument boils down to? 

    — You are 17,600 times more likely to die from heart disease than from a terrorist attack

    — You are 12,571 times more likely to die from cancer than from a terrorist attack

    — You are 11,000 times more likely to die in an airplane accident than from a terrorist plot involving an airplane

    — You are 1048 times more likely to die from a car accident than from a terrorist attack

    –You are 404 times more likely to die in a fall than from a terrorist attack

    — You are 87 times more likely to drown than die in a terrorist attack

    — You are 13 times more likely to die in a railway accident than from a terrorist attack

    –You are 12 times more likely to die from accidental suffocation in bed than from a terrorist attack

    –You are 9 times more likely to choke to death on your own vomit than die in a terrorist attack

    —You are 8 times more likely to be killed by a police officer than by a terrorist

    –You are 8 times more likely to die from accidental electrocution than from a terrorist attack

    — You are 6 times more likely to die from hot weather than from a terrorist attack

    http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2011/06/fear-of-terror-makes-people-stupid.html

    longpathuraharapujones1StrangeDaysindyfxcolinngmattinozsandorwatto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 41
    zimmiezimmie Posts: 151member

    thrang said:

    Perhaps tech can come up with a solution that meets the legitimate needs of law enforcement and anti-terrorism without throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

    That's just it. There is no such solution. A cryptographic key is a number. Numbers don't care who has them. You can't make a mathematical tool which can only be used by the good guys. This is particularly true now that the government is often the "bad guy" against whom we need protection. The NSA has such a problem with their analysts misusing access for stalking people they coined an intelligence category for it. The TSA steals from travelers and does not catch the overwhelming majority of contraband in tests. For that matter, an idiot at the TSA held up their master keys for a press photo, allowing people to reproduce them! These are the people saying they want more access to sensitive information about all of us.
    pujones1lostkiwiStrangeDaysmattinozwatto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 41
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,725member
    People thinking there is a way if we only worked harder on this are part of the problem. This is the kind of issue were there are no half way.
    lostkiwi
  • Reply 18 of 41
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,152member
    Having encryption keys really helped prevent 9/11 and the Oklahoma bombing.  

    Oh wait... 
  • Reply 19 of 41
    lkrupp said:
    So we as a society must accept the fact that if we want to remain free a good number of us must be prepared to die in terrorist attacks? Is that what this argument boils down to? 
    Well on another note "Nine people dead in Arizona dew to a Flash Flood" the Governor is asking "Flash Floods" to Stop.
    More people die of Jaywalking in Australia (172) last year than through Terrorisim (0) in the same Timeframe. If the Same amount of effort an Money would be put into educating Drivers and Pedestrians, im sure they can bring the numbers below (164) of Last year. And maybe Apple can help with a new Augmented Reality Mode for Texting so that People are more aware of the Great thing happening around them, like the speeding car from the right.
    edited July 2017 pujones1mattinoz
  • Reply 20 of 41
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 5,100member
    lkrupp said:
    So we as a society must accept the fact that if we want to remain free a good number of us must be prepared to die in terrorist attacks? Is that what this argument boils down to? 
    Sure. Thankfully the number who die in violent attacks of that nature is quite small. Far fewer than those who die in auto accidents, which is accepted for us to have an auto based culture, which didn’t always exist. 
    watto_cobra
Sign In or Register to comment.