Last month, there have been reports that the Australian government is introducing encryption backdoor to access its citizens’ private communications. More and more countries are now showing little to no concern about online security nowadays.
The Australian government has been slowly forcing tech companies that are operating in their country to open their encrypted communications. In response, tech companies have written an open letter expressing their disagreement with this action. However, the government says that this move is to improve public order and counter-terrorism capabilities. Specifically, the bill states:
Implement measures to address the impact of encrypted communications and devices on national security and law enforcement investigations. The bill provides a framework for agencies to work with the private sector so that law enforcement can adapt to the increasingly complex online environment. The bill requires both domestic and foreign companies supplying services to Australia to provide greater assistance to agencies.
Although this reason is somewhat valid, the people whose data will be harvested don’t seem to agree. Having an encryption backdoor poses plenty of concerns that could compromise the security of individuals, companies, and organizations. If tech companies comply with Australia’s encryption backdoor, then messaging apps like WhatsApp, Messenger, and Wickr will have to turn over their users’ decrypted conversations to the government. Despite being encrypted so that no one, not even the company itself, can read the messages, this mandate will disregard all privacy policies.
This circumstance poses another threat: cybercriminals with the technical knowledge can benefit from the backdoor system. Hackers could easily open the encryption backdoor as well and use it fraudulently. So what was supposed to be an extremely secure connection could now become a welcoming door for criminals to walk in and exploit.
Greens senator Jordon Steel-John also acknowledges this potential risk. He says,
Once the government has a backdoor into encrypted devices and platforms, everybody has a backdoor into encrypted devices and platforms. So I certainly wouldn’t be trusting them to do something as serious as this.
It’s not enough for the Australian government that telecommunication companies are already helping them by supplying information such as metadata and lawful interception. They still want to break encryptions, and digital rights organizations aren’t having it. According to Access Now, this bill will have “potential consequences seen in increases in online criminal activity and unauthorized access to personal and proprietary data.”
So what should you do if you live in Australia and could be affected by this encryption backdoor bill? One solution is to get a VPN service that is not based in Australia so it’s not subject to the country’s laws. Choose one with a military-grade encryption that’s impossible to decrypt, preferably those with 256-bit AES.
We have plenty of VPN reviews here in our site to help you choose the right service that suits your needs. There are also deals and discounts included so be sure to check them out. Whether you live in Australia or not, safeguarding your data is a must and you have a right to your privacy.