Thoughts on Ending Government Mass Surveillance: Why I was Wrong

When the Snowden revelations were released in June 2013, my passion for digital privacy was re-ignited. I’d always had an anti-authority streak in me, something I learnt from my father. My father taught me never to simply accept what people in power say, especially people in any government. Respect was to be earned, not simply … Read more

A Response to the eSafety Commission’s End-to-End Encryption Position Statement

With Australia’s eSafety Commission — a federal government statutory body — in the news lately, I though I’d tackle a topic that’s been bothering me for many months. In February, 2020, the eSafety Commission released a position statement on end-to-end encryption. As I wrote earlier, the position statement could be renamed to, “Reasons Why the … Read more

Why Free Speech is Important for Digital Privacy

We rarely pause to reflect upon how encryption entered the public domain. Prior to the late ’70s, encryption was a domain for the military, with very little utility for the average person. Computers were expensive hobbies for cashed-up geeks, ARPANET was the Internet, and mobile phones weren’t even a dream. What I have written below … Read more

The Road to Digital Serfdom: Australia’s Government Proposes ID Checks for Social Media, Dating Sites

“With government legislation, it’s rare that legislation is repealed (e.g., “hate speech” laws), rare that nonsensical or failed government programmes are closed down, and rare that governments decrease in size, power, and influence. For digital privacy, this natural cadence of ever increasing government power can only mean more legislation against citizens’ digital privacy and freedom; … Read more

Censorship & Misinformation: A Risk to Secure Messaging?

During the last week, Apple, Google, and AWS took steps to ensure that Parler was made inaccessible. Likewise, YouTube temporarily removed TalkRADIO’s channel because the UK radio station questioned “expert” advice on COVID-19. TalkRADIO’s content is already regulated by Ofcom, the UK’s broadcasting regulatory body, raising questions as to why YouTube believes it should censor … Read more

Signal, Cellebrite, and the Sorry State of Tech Journalism

A few days ago, a BBC journalist wrote an article with the headline, “Signal: Firm claims to have cracked chat app’s encryption”. The problem? Both the claim and the article were compete & utter rubbish. “Journalism” Firstly, both the headline and the article were changed without any notice to readers (it’s common practise for readers … Read more

Mass Surveillance by Another Name: Cash Ban Bill Scrapped by Senate

A proposed Bill to ban cash payments of over $10,000 died in Australia’s Senate. However, anyone paying attention to the federal government’s record on safety over freedom should stay tuned… the Bill will eventually return in some form. The Bill highlights the language used by the government to crack down on everyday Australians’ spending their … Read more

APRA to Increase Cyber Security Regulation Despite no Material Cyber Security Breaches in Financial Services

APRA — an independent statutory authority that supervises institutions across banking, insurance and superannuation — has promised to increase cyber security regulations, even going as far to extend its regulatory reach from 680 entities to over 17,000 entities. One would that think such “regulatory intervention” is based on evidence of its existing cyber security regulation … Read more

The EU Giveth Digital Privacy & the EU Taketh Digital Privacy

In a previous post, I wrote that, “Digital privacy regulations don’t tend to prohibit government mass surveillance, although there is at least one exception. (And the exception isn’t a panacea nor a pathway for other countries such as Australia, NZ, the UK, the US, and Canada.)“ The exception was the European Court of Justice banning the … Read more

The Road to Digital Serfdom

In my previous blog post, I outlined an approach to ending government mass surveillance, suggesting a rights-based means by which government mass surveillance can be ended. In this blog post, I want to write about the slow erosion of rights over time. What is a right? The answer isn’t simple, and hence I’m not going … Read more