Australia’s proposed decryption law and why is Apple opposing it

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decryption Law
Credits: BBC

Australia laid down a seven-page proposal of a decryption law in order to address the concerns of national security. The United States, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and now Australia have joined hands for this supposedly ”security” measure.

Let’s just first understand what it entails. As per the proposal, the Australian government wants an eavesdropping agency within the smartphones and devices that the government will be in charge of. Yes, it is that outrageous.

Also read: Apple is fighting user’s privacy

It said:

‘The bill could allow the government to order the makers of smart home speakers to install persistent eavesdropping capabilities into a person’s home, require a provider to monitor the health data of its customers for indications of drug use, or require the development of a tool that can unlock a particular user’s device regardless of whether such tool could be used to unlock every other user’s device as well.”

This means that the government will be given encryption backdoors that could literally make them the ‘Big brother’ monitoring their citizens’ every move. Encryption backdoors are basically the agency that lets the law enforcement institutions to unlock any smart device in order to aid their investigations.

Be it your health data, personal messages, vacation plans, or even the everyday commute, the government will be able to have access to all of your data.

But is this actually going to make us feel more secure?

Advocate Zeshan S Ghumman
Advocate Zeshan S. Ghumman

Majority of the critics believe the otherwise. According to the leading advocate, Zeshan S. Ghumman, this is just another loophole intended to weaken the security of the public. Knowing that the government is constantly watching you through your devices, the terrorists and other criminals won’t be stupid enough to use the technology in the first place. Instead, it is only going to make the general public feel insecure because well, we don’t want anybody peeking into our private messages.

Apple has always been a strong advocate of encryption policy. It has never breached the security contract it makes with its customers.

Back in December 2015, Syed Farooq, a suspect, and his wife, Tafsheen Malik were shot. When the FBI found Farooq’s phone, which was iPhone 5C, they demanded Apple to unlock it in order to aid their investigation. Instead of first seeking help from the hackers, FBI had the audacity to ask the company to go against its encryption policy no matter how important the issue might have been.

The reason why it was important for Apple to take the FBI to the court, which it eventually did, is the responsibility that it has of standing by its policy of encryption. Apple’s this move clearly showed how much the company values its customers’ contract.

Also read: Apple updates iOS 12 to fix charging issues

So, it is but natural for Apple to oppose the decryption law. According to Apple, the law is going to:

“weaken the security and privacy of regular customers while pushing criminals further off the grid”.

Although Apple’s stance will be supported by many but is it enough to stop the alliance of the five powerful countries from implementing the decryption policy?

For what it’s worth, we are rooting for Apple!

Do let us know what you think in the comments section below!

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