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Encryption Australia Businesses Government Privacy Security Apple

Apple Flies Top Privacy Executives Into Australia To Lobby Against Proposed Encryption Laws (patentlyapple.com) 65

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Patently Apple: Last week Patently Apple posted a report titled "Australia proposed new Laws Compelling Companies like Facebook & Apple to Provide Access to Encrypted Messages." Days later, Australia's Prime Minister spoke about the encryption problem with the Australian press as noted in the video in our report. Now we're learning that Apple has flown in top executives to lobby Turnbull government on encryption laws. It sounds like a showdown is on the horizon. This is the second time this month that Apple has flown executives into Australia to lobby the government according to a Sydney publication. Apple executives met with Attorney-General George Brandis and senior staff in Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull's office on Tuesday to discuss the company's concerns about the legal changes, which could see tech companies compelled to provide access to locked phones and third party messaging applications. Apple has argued in the meetings that as a starting point it does not want the updated laws to block tech companies from using encryption on their devices, nor for companies to have to provide decryption keys to allow access to secure communications. The company has argued that if it is compelled to provide a software "back door" into its phones to help law enforcement agencies catch criminals and terrorists, this would reduce the security for all users. It also says it has provided significant assistance to police agencies engaged in investigations, when asked. UPDATE 07/20/17: Headline has been updated to clarify that Apple is lobbying against the proposed encryption laws in Australia.
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Apple Flies Top Privacy Executives Into Australia To Lobby Against Proposed Encryption Laws

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  • It seems the headline is wrong. Apple isn't lobbying against encryption. ??

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      • by ichthus ( 72442 )

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    • The headline reads "Apple Flies Top Privacy Executives Into Australia To Lobby Against Proposed Encryption Laws", which means "Apple Flies Top Privacy Executives Into Australia To Lobby Against Proposed Encryption Laws" in English. They are flying top privacy executives into Australia to lobby against proposed encryption laws, so the headline is correct.

  • Wouldn't Apple be lobbying FOR encryption in this case?

    • Wouldn't Apple be lobbying FOR encryption in this case?

      "Australian proposed encryption laws" mean companies like Apple should be able to break end users' encryption. And Apple doesn't want to. They are lobbying against laws that would require them to break your encryption.

    • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

      It's lobbying to avoid a little scruffy mess. Look they want back door in the software you supply, so fuck em, don't supply the software, let someone else supply that from an offshore location. Than the user imports and install and in legal terms, they are now the Australian Supplier of their own encryption software, that they imported and distributed and now if they government wants a back door into their phone they have to apply to them for it. It is all that stupid, put in a back door to locally supplied

  • I'm confused, why does the title state Apple is lobbying AGAINST encryption? It's contradicted by both the summary and article itself.

    "Apple has argued in the meetings that as a starting point it does not want the updated laws to block tech companies from using encryption on their devices"

    It says right there - Australia wants to limit encryption, and Apple is not in favor of that.

  • Against? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Roger W Moore ( 538166 ) on Thursday July 20, 2017 @07:14PM (#54849901) Journal

    Apple Flies Top Privacy Executives Into Australia To Lobby Against Encryption

    It sounds like they are lobbying against laws which require them to provide a backdoor for the government through their encryption. I'd call this arguing for encryption, not against it.

  • Why do you love the terrorists so much?

    Signed,
    The Australian Government

    Co-signed,
    The governments of the US, Great Britain, most EU countries, Russia, China, and pretty much everywhere else

    • Stop being corruptive and helping terrorists for cash & power. 2 + 2 = 4. Your action has consequence. It's not magic.

      Signed,
      People with a Brain

      Apple Inc.

      Co-signed,
      Everyone else who also has a Brain

    • Dear Afforementioned governments,

      Do you even like it being possible for financial transactions to be made without massive massive massive amounts of fraud?

  • Would it be futile to expect that if I similarly flew into Canberra and requested an audience with George Brandis - as a citizen - I would be given equal access as Apple execs are likely getting - non-citizen representatives of a foreign corporation who have not the slightest interest in the welfare of Australians?

    How about citizen representatives of a public interest group such as Linux Australia or FSF?

    Silly me! We only exist to promote the interests of US corporations.

    • by AHuxley ( 892839 )
      Wait for the lawyer words like with PRISM.
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]
    • by dbIII ( 701233 )

      Would it be futile to expect that if I similarly flew into Canberra and requested an audience with George Brandis - as a citizen - I would be given equal access as Apple execs are likely getting

      The guy has a lot of past form - offer some sort of benefit to himself or his family, or offer him the use of a title he hasn't earned and you may just be shown right in before the Apple execs.
      Think of US deep south politics of the 1960s and throw on a bit more mud and you've got George Brandis "QC" (never practiced

  • by Neo-Rio-101 ( 700494 ) on Thursday July 20, 2017 @08:31PM (#54850253)

    The current PM is already well-disliked by everyone in the IT industry by singlehandedly botching the NBN fibre-to-the-premises rollout project.

    All Apple would have to do would say that they'd pull out of Australia if these anti-encryption laws went through. In fact, the laws would probably cause this through implication. The PM's popularity would plummet. He wouldn't be so stupid as to risk it.

    • Yes, if these laws get up, I hope Apple has the balls to pull out. The populace would be down at parliament house with pitchforks if that happened.

    • by quenda ( 644621 )

      by singlehandedly botching the NBN fibre-to-the-premises rollout project.

      It takes more than one person. The NBN Corp was already a disaster before the Liberals came to power, it was just was not as apparent to the public back then.
      Turnbull was put in charge of communications because he was the only senior member with any clue how the internet worked.

      FTTN using old copper pairs to the house is a horrible plan, but they are so slow that by the time it reaches my street, we will all be using high-speed fixed wireless.
      And the taxpayers (and super funds) will have a massive debt for

  • Encyption (Score:5, Interesting)

    by n329619 ( 4901461 ) on Thursday July 20, 2017 @08:45PM (#54850313)

    I hate that term. It should be replaced and removed completely. Commoners have zero clue what the f that meant from the start. When they don't understand, how in the world are they going to even care?

    We should really be replacing it with 'locks', 'files lock', 'Computer files lock', because that's what it basically is. It locks the file(s) up and ensure those with the key can read it.

    Not to mention when we put it back into context, we can now change backdoors into terms like 'secondary key' to the locks. It makes it easier to understand why this is bad.
    -you have no control of the 'secondary key'
    -your locks can be unlocked by someone else with the 'secondary key'
    -the 'secondary key' can be stolen without you knowing

    To actually start implementing it, we really need to start changing right from the technical articles, like using a simple parentheses into Encryption (files lock) and Backdoor (Secondary Key) would be 100% better for the commoners as a starter to understand.

    The more people understand the issue, the better it is to resolve the issue.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      People don't give a shit. They probably don't know that their stuff is encrypted to begin with. And they would probably see any "files lock" as something that the authorities should be able to break into. Like with real locks.

      I think the main problem is the mathematical nature of encryption, and the fact that you cannot see ip packets with the naked eye. Almost nobody would call their credit card number out loud in a crowded place. But putting it in an unencrypted email? Who is going to see it? Just

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Like quite a few of you out there,we here in OZ also have a democratic system that tries its best, but sometimes gets it wrong a bit.

    Unfortunately, as a lot of you guys have seen as well in your own countries, sometimes a party gets in strictly because they're either the lesser of two evils. This is the case in Australia as well. The two main "blocs" of parties are swapping over every election cycle or two (and knifing their leaders in the process) as there's just no real alternative on the horizon except f

  • Apple executives met with Attorney-General George Brandis and senior staff in Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull's office on Tuesday to discuss the company's concerns about the legal changes...

    It's great that Apple is defending encryption. What's NOT so great is that they seem able to meet with such high mucky-mucks almost at will. A mere citizen of Australia, (or Canada, or England, or other such countries with purportedly democratic traditions), would be hard pressed to get so much as the steam off the piss of the AG or the PMO. The fact that such lobbying as this is even suffered to exist, is a slap in the face of all that Democracy stands for.

    As for backdooring encryption, the fact that gover

    • by tlhIngan ( 30335 )

      What's NOT so great is that they seem able to meet with such high mucky-mucks almost at will.

      Well, the big thing is Apple has celebrity. Tim Cook is well known and when he comes calling, people notice. Elon Musk will probably get similar attention, as would Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, etc. And yes, that also includes other celebrities in the traditional sense, too.

      I'm sure local celebrities in the area also command similar attention from politicians.

    • As for backdooring encryption, the fact that governments can openly push for it without having their asses handed to them by the people at whose pleasure they allegedly serve, is so wrong in so many ways that it's simply mind-boggling.

      Ah see what you're missing is that it's not that they don't care at all, it's just preventing the government and hackers from reading all your private info pales in comparison to the far more important issues that determine who people vote for, like which bathroom transfolks should pee in.

  • If two top mathematicians are having a conversation, in English, about the ins and outs of, say, the latest greatest advancements in applying group cohomology to analytic number theory, consider the transcript that GCHQ/NSA would get from that phone call, and the difficulty in understanding it. Demanding that the phone company be able to decipher the language for them is stupid. Demanding that the phone company not offer the facility for people to communicate in languages that the phone company cannot decip

  • We need laws like this in place, to eliminate people's false sense of security. These laws are never going to prevent people from using encryption on their own. The fact is, they shouldn't be trusting Apple or Facebook with their proprietary devices and software to encrypt their data. They should consider it 100% vulnerable at all times when relying on closed-source software. So why allow them to market that false hope to their users? This will result in better, more secure communication software. (At

  • If the clowns put into law weak encryption I will smile like an evil monkey. We deserve getting hacked all day everyday because Turnbull is an idiot.

Mathematicians practice absolute freedom. -- Henry Adams

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