just when you think it’s safe to go back into the water, “Our Malcolm” suggests that Australian law takes precedence over the law of mathematics!
Having read the articles referred to I find no problem with the PM’s statement, he is not challenging the laws of mathematics he is simply stating that the law of the land takes precedence, as it should.
I’m sure that Malcolm is not stupid enough to believe what he is saying. He wants Facebook and others to provide a backdoor so that agencies can decrypt messages, as currently it is impossible without the encryption key. The problem is that providing a backdoor means it can be exploited. So before you get all excited about what Malcolm said, you might want to give some thought to that.
I think that Malcolm is boxing a bit clever here because he knows exactly the response his comments will elicit, as we have already seen. And it will drag out all the usual “if you’ve got nothing to hide” rebuttals.
Thanks for the links , like all speeches things can be cherry picked and slanted towards a specific view.
The boing boing news letter you first Quoted from is a tech page from a shop trying to sell latest tech products at a highly inflated price, and obviously write for their " clever I’m smarter than them" customers.
Some of these people I believe would be operating as hackers, or users of the dark web, and perhaps even those who use technology to trout young children.
You may notice from his speech he also said , directing it at the IT companies and developers of internet based programs.
“Alright you’ve devised these great platforms, now you’ve got to help us to ensure that the rule of law prevails and that they’re not exploited by those who want to hide from the law as they plan to do us harm.”
After the last ransomware attacks on hospitals and other infrastructure, let alone the growing increase of child grooming and child pornography distributed between pedophiles, I would have thought that all members here would have applauded any and all measures by any government to try and halt this, rather than give any time or credence here or else where to biased attacks on our pm or any government that is trying to address this problem.
That is the most ironic thing I have read this year. The recent ransomware attacks were only possible because a backdoor exploit used by the CIA was leaked to hackers. Now you want the providers of encryption software to provide a back door to allow government agencies to view encrypted messages. And of course there is NO chance of that falling into the wrong hands, now is there?
It’s just hilarious.
Let’s see if we can break this down a bit and remove the politics.
When a message is encrypted with my public key, I am the only one who can decrypt it. Not even the sender can do that. You need the private key, which I have stored on my device. This is where the ‘laws of mathematics’ come in. It simply cannot be done in any reasonable time frame, we are talking years, even with modern computers. Certainly not feasible or even worth trying.
The only way that Facebook would be able to allow government agencies to view these messages would be to provide a way to remotely access the private key on a device and use it to decrypt the message. To do that means providing a backdoor way of accessing the application and extracting the key. No sooner would they do that than someone will find a way to exploit it, of that you can be certain.
With regard to the above preventing terrorists from communicating, encryption has been around for a long time, well before it was added as an extension to things like Whatsapp. All a terrorist will need to do is to encrypt his message in the traditional way with whatever tool he chooses, he could even write one himself, and send that using the platform of his choice. Facebook and all others will be powerless to assist the government in reading those messages. It simply could not be done.
But the government has been a bit hazy on what it actually is they expect Facebook to do, so details are sketchy. I think they want the tech companies to come up with a solution. It remains to be seen if they will comply and if they do, how long it will be before whatever they come with is exploited. You cannot weaken the system just for the bad guys, it will affect all of us. I’m sure a lot of people will not care.
You cannot weaken the system just for the bad guys, it will affect all of us. I’m sure a lot of people will not care.
It would be a bit like having a requirement to leave the keys to your house at the local fire station in case there is a fire… only it’s the keys to your bank account, and perhaps the deeds to the ranch as well.
It seems ironic that, at a time when governments are demanding more abilities and rights to know more of our secrets, they are doing more and more to hide what they are doing. Even information that should be in the public domain is made difficult to obtain, and governments resort to all sorts of strategies to keep things off the public record. Have a look at Brandis’ effort to keep his work diary secret, despite a succession of court orders to release it.
Encryption to play with
A more likely scenario about what the government might try and do
Basically go after the endpoints, aka your phone/computer
If the NSA can’t keep their hacking tools secret, you think the oz gov will do better?
Thanks for those links, tqft, especially the second one.
Yep me too, the last paragraph of the second one pretty well sums up the situation, but I’m buggered if I can think of a solution that is not totally draconian.
… but I’m buggered if I can think of a solution …
That’s because there is none.
It is a waste of time trying to bring in measures that allow certain systems to be hacked by the “good guys” (and hopefully not the “bad guys”), because the “other bad guys” you are trying to catch will simply move onto another platform/system that hasn’t yet been opened up to the “good guy” hackers.
The only way law enforcement can catch these “other bad guys” is by infiltration, or insider help.