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Do we have any members down under? I believe we used to. Well Australia has me on the fence this week. One one side they made what I consider a bad call, and have weakened Australians rights to privacy to support fear mongering (Assistance and Access Bill 2018) by making it easier for law enforcement and government to crack your encryption and access private user data.

On the other they have decided that e-voting is a bad call and have turned it down. I think it is easier to manipulate voting per computer than is is paper ballots shipped in armored cars like we used to do back in the day.

So here are some links on the subjects, you can find your own if you wish, there is a lot on this new Assistance and Access Bill 2018.

E-voting:

Pencil manufacturers rejoice: Oz government doesn't like e-voting

https://www.theregister.co.uk/2018/12/06/evoting_off_australias_agenda/

Quote
An Australian parliamentary committee has nixed the idea of internet voting for federal elections Down Under, for now.
 
The Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters has delivered its report into the 2016 federal election, and in it, the body decided that there are plenty of ways technology can help elections – but ditching the country's pencil-and-paper ballots isn't one of them.
 
The committee said technology “is not sufficiently mature for an election to be conducted through a full scale electronic voting process.”
 
“Despite public enthusiasm for electronic voting, there are a number of serious problems with regard to electronic voting – particularly in relation to cost, security and verification of results”, the committee reported.

 

Assistance and Access Bill 2018:

Australia now has encryption-busting laws as Labor capitulates

https://www.zdnet.com/article/australia-now-has-encryption-busting-laws-as-labor-capitulates/

Quote
Labor has backed down completely on its opposition to the Assistance and Access Bill, and in the process has been totally outfoxed by a government that can barely control the floor of Parliament.
 
After proposing a number of amendments to the Bill, which Labor party members widely called out as being inappropriate in the House of Representatives on Thursday morning, the Labor Party has dropped its proposals, allowing the Bill to pass through Parliament before the summer break.

 

Australia Passes Encryption-Busting Law

https://www.databreachtoday.com/australia-passes-encryption-busting-law-a-11812

Quote
Australia's Parliament on Thursday night passed sweeping new laws enabling it to compel technology companies to break their own encryption.
 
Although the government argued the laws are needed to combat criminal activity and terrorism, civil liberties organizations and technology companies, including Apple, had lobbied against the legislation, called the Assistance and Access Bill 2018, contending it would result in weaker software products for legitimate users.
 
Critics worried that software vendors would be forced to put "backdoors," or secret access methods, into their products, which could be discovered and exploited by cybercriminals or nation-states.

 

Australia Passes Anti-Encryption Bill—Here's Everything You Need To Know

https://thehackernews.com/2018/12/australia-anti-encryption-bill.html

Quote
Australia's House of Representatives has finally passed the "Telecommunications Assistance and Access Bill 2018," also known as the Anti-Encryption Bill, on Thursday that would now allow law enforcement to force Google, Facebook, WhatsApp, Signal, and other tech giants to help them access encrypted communications.
 
The Australian government argues the new legislation is important for national security and an essential tool to help law enforcement and security agencies fight serious offenses such as crime, terrorist attacks, drug trafficking, smuggling, and sexual exploitation of children.
 
Since the bill had support from both major parties (the Coalition and Labor), the upper house could vote in support of the Assistance and Access Bill to make it law, which is expected to come into effect immediately during the next session of parliament in early 2019.

 

Wow, what a lovely early Christmas present for Australians: A crypto-busting super-snoop law passes just in time

https://www.theregister.co.uk/2018/12/07/australias_crypto_legislation/

Quote
Congratulations, Australia: somehow after chaotic scenes in parliament, the government last night managed to secure after-the-bell passage of its encryption-busting eavesdropping legislation.
 
The super-spying law, which will force websites and communications services Down Under to build in secret wiretapping capabilities for terror and crime investigators, looked in serious trouble for most of the day, with the opposition Australian Labor Party and the Greens picking over more than 150 proposed amendments to the rules.
 
That, combined with a separate row over border protection legislation, made it look like parliament simply wouldn't have the time to pass the snoopers' law, something that drew an angry rant from Aussie Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
 
He unloaded on opposition leader Bill Shorten on both issues, saying: “This is about Australia's safety, and Bill Shorten is a clear and present threat to Australia's safety.”

 

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