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Australia's Assistance and Access Bill passes



I just think this could be a repeat of the 1990’s clipper chip proposals that pretty much went no where. Would you use a solution released in Australia that you knew could definitely be compromised or an open source product downloaded from an overseas location which you knew could not?

I suppose where this could have some limited success would be on mobile phone type apps that are installed from within the confines of a walled garden. For PC and Server apps it’s a non-started and will be side-stepped.


We need to remember encryption back-doors enable “villians” as much as they enable “heros”. There is no way to have it setup for good guys to have access and prevent bad guys from doing the same. This insistence that its possible is frustrating.


Thro, as another aussie. Even though I am subscribed to multiple channels on youtube and check up with many websites, I hadn’t heard of this until now. I’m almost certain most of us never heard about this and probably more don’t care.

Which is really unfortunate because encryption is really important for a society these days.


Well, not quite. All is fine provided the government or escrow agency or whoever never allows thier copy of your private key to leak. We all know government agencies are totally capable of that so what’s there to be worried about :wink:


Yes and no. The L1News has talked about it a few times. But you are right on the second d half. Most don’t care.


There are always grumblings about this sort of thing though, which is why I thought it was worthwhile to note that this one actually passed.

Some highlights from the BBC’s article:

The laws were rushed through parliament on its final day of the year.

Labor initially proposed 173 amendments to the bill, but agreed to drop them on Thursday so that the law would be passed this year.

In return, the government pledged to debate possible amendments next year.

But the nation’s top legal society, the Law Council of Australia, said on Friday that the laws had been “rammed” through the parliament with inadequate consideration.


Why pass a law to add backdoors? That just hurts everybody.
Would make more sense for the law enforcement to be allowed to trojanize systems they suspect of wrongdoing. Or did they already have that legislation in place?

Also, does this make every sort of encryption, that ain’t ‘approved’ by the government, illegal?

Or is it just like RSA? You know, backdoors.


Level1 is a niche among tech enthusiasts, never mind the normal population.

Out of all the tech nerd friends i have here in AU, maybe 1-2 others in my circle even know level 1 exists.

Just as an example…


Signal wrote up a post about this with some interesting:

For instance, it has been widely reported that Malcolm Turnbull, the 29th Prime Minister of Australia, is a Signal user.

and snarky bits:

This doesn’t seem like smart politics, but nothing about this bill seems particularly smart.

Still looking for a more comprehensive legal overview article.


Yeah, it’s gonna be a while.

Lots to go through, and theory is different from execution.


I have not been following it too much but I believe there is still one more vote to put it into effect as law.

When that happens I hope the tech companies just pull out of AU.

Not one person I know in AU understands whats is happening. I cant be fucked tech-splaining it.

They need too lose their phones etc to wake up. Aussies will put up with anything. There are so many nanny state laws.


If you’re going from media coverage, i doubt you know what is happening either. I’m not saying all is rosy, but there’s very little chance the media have it right either.

There are so many laws that everybody breaks here.


Many are just revue makers aka fines.

This is more about the world and a stake in the ground. We all get why mega corps bend over for china. It’s got all the people and and much of the money.

Australia is 24M people. We are generally liked cause everything kills you here. However I dont want to be the reason governments can point to us and say backdoor’s works there.

There is the UK cameras everywhere for example. People point at.


Again, the provision is that the vendor is not to do anything that compromises security.

law gets passed, argument goes to high court where somebody competent argues that back doors are a security compromise. law gets trashed, life goes on.

no one is going to jail for running signal on their mobile phone, etc.


Apple could do this if it wanted…Every other device sold in australia maybe not.

The ownership and trust put on companies to hold secure keys safe just so the Australian government could have 1 phone only access is so immense.

Is possible to not break encryption and a company hold a key for each and every device in australia.

The level of risk goes up to the point only a company the size of Apple could perhaps do it competently and in this example Apple always has access to your files. If they want.

The whole idea needs to be rejected wholesale before we are locked into a channel with no way out.