Cyber Security

Internet Australia expresses concerns over legislation to access encrypted messages

Internet Australia, the NFP peak body representing Internet users, today expressed concern at the Government’s announcement it intends to bring on legislation compelling social media platforms to help Australian security agencies access encrypted messages.

Internet Australia points out we need people to trust the Internet. Users’ personal security and privacy considerations must be our primary concern.

“The risk is that in a well intentioned effort to deal with a serious issue we inadvertently create an even bigger problem. If we make the Internet less secure we make it more vulnerable to malicious attacks”, according to Executive Director Laurie Patton.

Internet Australia is a chapter of the global Internet Society, which has 90,000 members in more than 100 countries and is the primary organisation with oversight of Internet developments and governance. This is the official Internet Society statement…

“Strong encryption is an essential piece to the future of the world’s economy, and the Internet Society believes that encryption should be the norm for Internet traffic and data storage. It allows us to do our banking, conduct local and global business, run our power grids, operate communications networks, and more. Encryption is a technical building block for securing infrastructure, communications, and information. It should be made stronger and universal, not weaker. We urge people around the world to tell their governments to support opportunities in business, education, economy and almost everything else.” 

“IA supports the principle of an open, accessible and trusted Internet. We support the global movement which has come out against the weakening of the protections that make the Internet safe of commerce and for our personal interactions”.

Speaking on ABC Television News today, Mr Patton called on the Government to consult with IA and other industry experts and not simply “dump legislation on us as they did with data retention”.

“So far the Government has only made a broad announcement. We’ll have to wait and see what they come up with. Based on our experience with the flawed data retention scheme, however, we are very concerned”.

NOTE: Similar moves are being opposed by the EU…

LAURIE PATTON | Executive Director, Internet Australia


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