Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s demand for “access” to encrypted services reveals a Brandis-esque level of digital illiteracy across this entire government, Australian Greens Co-Deputy Leader Scott Ludlam said today.
“This knee-jerk reaction to horrific incidents is not going to prevent more of them. Spying on more people can’t help, particularly when the perpetrators are already known to authorities - as they were in Melbourne, in London, in Sydney.
“Mass citizen surveillance simply does not work. Finding needles in a haystack is only made more difficult when you increase the size of the haystack.
“The same technology used to keep your conversations private keeps your internet banking safe, it protects against online fraud and theft, it shields businesses from attacks like the ransomware we saw last month. You can’t build a ‘back door’ into encrypted services and limit entry to a chosen few. That’s not how it works. If a weakness is built into software to service one group it will always be found and exploited by others.
“Human intelligence, targeted scrutiny with safeguards and warrants, adequate resourcing for organisations that disrupt terrorist recruitment; these are appropriate responses. Making every person in the country more vulnerable to crime just because ignorant members of the far right saw a bad Hollywood portrayal of hacking and remembered a buzzword is an atrocious way to make policy, even for the Liberal party,” Senator Ludlam said.