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Decryption will set a dangerous precedent for Australian cyber-security: Greens

Monday, 26 February

Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton has flagged introducing legislation obligating Australian companies to assist government agencies with decryption, but his department has failed to clarify today in estimates when they plan to do so.

Australian Greens Digital Rights spokesperson Senator Jordon Steele-John said the lack of understanding demonstrated in estimates about the implications of such legislation was frightening, given there was an acknowledgement it was in draft stages.

“Home Affairs Secretary Michael Pezzullo’s claim that decryption will not undermine end-to-end encryption – the protection of private data – is complete and utter nonsense,” Senator Steele-John said.

“It’s a pretty simple concept; either both Mr Pezzullo and his Department have no understanding of how encryption works, or they assume that nobody else does and have insulted the intelligence of me and my staff in the process.

“Quite simply the development and implementation of decryption technologies will decrease the security of end-to-end encryption; it is either 100 per cent secure or not at all!

“Obligating Australian companies providing telecommunications services and devices to assist government agencies with decryption will fundamentally mean that the data of everyday Australians will no longer be secure.

“I urge the Government to reconsider the development of such dangerous legislation, and guarantee the ongoing security of encrypted data in Australia.”

Media contact:

Tim Oliver - 0448 316 387

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