Australia Forces WhatsApp to include backdoors and spyware for law enforcement

A few months old, but:

The government will soon be spying on your messages with new world-first national security laws dealing with encrypted communications expected to pass parliament this week.

Messaging apps such as WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger are secured with end-to-end encryption, meaning the app and third parties cannot read or listen to the content – but that is now about to change.

The spying powers are limited to only ‘serious offences’ such as preventing terrorism and tackling organised crime in Australia

Article originally posted HERE

First up, I’ll point out what Facebook already has a backdoor in Facebook Messengers’ “Secret” conversations and has handed over deleted messages from them to law enforcement before in the United States. Given they own WhatsApp, it shouldn’t be trusted anyway, and now Facebook are outright on the defensive scanning what people type and sending off anything potentially “dangerous” to authorities.

Another quote:

Under the proposed powers, companies would be required to build a new function to help police access the suspects’ data, or risk a fine for not doing so.

They could be asked to install software or a modifying service on the suspects’ device, and provide technical information such as the source code.

The suspect would not even know if they’re being spied on because the company cannot tell anyone.

On Tuesday, Labor and the government came to an in-principle agreement on key parts of the bill after the ALP pushed for it to be amended.

For the rest, see the article at the top I linked to ^^^

My thoughts? Encryption one side can get into, both can. That means the bad guys, and from what I can tell at this point in time, criminal, foreign, and immoral hackers are already way ahead, and are focusing on us, not their own citizens trying to contains a firehose of information. Our NBN is a shambles anyway, I’ll have a laugh at that one later XD.

A bit of further reading on these issues: from The Conversation

Australia no longer ‘respects right to privacy’ – the rest of the world

Why not start with a quote (from here):

Australia no longer ‘respects right to privacy’.

Hosted email provider FastMail says it has lost customers and faces “regular” requests to shift its operations outside Australia following the passage of anti-encryption laws.

The Victorian company, which offers ad-free email services to users in 150 countries, told a senate committee that the now-passed laws were starting to bite.

“The way in which [the laws] were introduced, debated, and ultimately passed … creates a perception that Australia has changed – that we are no longer a country which respects the right to privacy,” FastMail CEO Bron Gondwana said.

Nice one, Federal government. Not only sending tech work and business offshore, putting Australians under mandatory surveillance as far as anything they do digitally, right or wrong (which is a matter of opinion, rather the opinion of the current political party in charge.)

Encryption isn’t broken still, but they’ll still throw you in prison for refusing to hand over a password, likely even if you’ve just forgotten a long one you haven’t used in months.

Lots of blame to the Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Amendment (Data Retention) Act 2015

Want a copy? Free to download, or get it here (CLICK TO DOWNLOAD)

Two quick snippets of PART of just what they gather and then keep for years is below:

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