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

The Road to Digital Serfdom: Vaccine Passports are a Moral, Political, and Technological Abomination

Do you think that governments should force organisations to discriminate against customers based on their innate humanity? No, me either, but that’s what is happening in the West. The EU and multiple countries have announced that vaccine passports will be/are required for citizens to physically go into organisations’ premises, such as bars, pubs, stadiums, trains, … Read more

AWS Acquires Wickr: Big Tech Unsuitable for Secure Messaging

A list of reasons why Amazon cannot be trusted to secure messages: AWS’ ties to the US government. Amazon is a well-known censor of books/documentaries with which it disagrees. Keep in mind that Amazon sells Mein Kampf and the Communist Manifesto, two books whose authors’ ideas led to the slaughter of over 100 million people … Read more

A Response to Tim Watts’ Ransomware Bill

Proving that government meddling in the private sector’s cyber security practices isn’t a partisan issue, Labor’s Tim Watts, the Shadow Assistant Minister for Cyber Security, has introduced a Bill to force private companies to interact with the ACSC — the Australian Cyber Security Centre — which is part of the ASD, the Australian Signals Directorate. … Read more

Should the ASD Help Australian Companies Respond to a Cyber Security Attack?

According to an article, the head of the ASD, Rachel Nobel, is unhappy that she cannot force Australian companies to accept the ASD’s help when responding to cyber security attacks. Her comment was made at an inquiry into the Security Legislation Amendment (Critical Infrastructure) Bill, which would grant the ASD the power to defend critical infrastructure … 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