Economic impact of back doors


Simon Sharwood has done an excellent job reporting on the onerous new backdoor laws being debated in Australia. For those who haven’t seen them, this is how he opened his most recent report:

As iTnews readers will by now appreciate, the Bill suggests powers to compel technology companies to provide access to data their products and services manage or transmit, but has been met with criticism such access is not possible without introducing systemic weaknesss.

To put it midly. Now a government and private body are soliciting feedback:

While mindful of that criticism, The [Australian Strategic Policy Institute] and [The Australian Cyber Security Growth Network] have not taken a position opposing the bill but are interested to learn how industry feels it could impact their prospects.

While AustCyber is government-funded, Chief of Strategy Belinda Newham told iTnews she sees the survey as in line with its mission to grow a local cyber-security industry.

Life isn’t often black and white, but industry feels you’ll destroy them. Pass this bill, and you won’t have a local cyber-security industry.

It’s amazing how cyclical and bipartisan this nonsense is. A decade ago I dedicated much of my blog to exposing the then-government’s plan for mandatory internet filtering. Back in 2008:

The problem is, such an abysmal result will not deter Senator Conroy or his vocal minority (minority… minority… minority…) of supporters because their belief that such a system is useful and practical isn’t rooted in facts, figures or even common sense, but rather in an unfounded idea that what they’re doing is right and that everyone else is wrong, regardless. As with other adherents to similar ideologies that utilise such reasoning, they’re incredibly hard to talk rationally to because they already have their conclusion before they have their facts.

The same can be said of people who want cryptographic back doors, or to tap communications. There is no mathemathical way to do this without seriously compromising security.

That internet filter was defeated, but I fear this latest bill would be far worse if passed.

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