The Australian Government has created a new set of laws regarding encryption and information. It’s authorized an ad campaign that everybody should see because it’s just hilarious and terrifying at the same time.
The ad starts by asking the viewer if he or she has anything to hide. Then it laughs about the question but doubles down on it “seriously, though, do you?”. It next tells us that “encryption makes it hard for us to spy on you these days” which why is it’s introducing a brand new law to expand the surveillance state. It’s called the “Assistance and access bill” also known as “Ass access” (no, we’re not making that up, that’s what they’re calling it).
This new law will force Apple, Google, Facebook, Samsung, Microsoft, Telstra, and Optus, among others to do the job that the Australian intelligence services can’t. It will force said companies to include backdoor access into every app new version so that the government can find out what you’re up to.
Companies that won’t comply with the policy will have to pay fines as high as 10 million Australian dollars. This way, the government doesn’t need to break encryption at all. And the new law doesn’t even require any judicial oversight at all.
The spying can only; it’s out if suspicions are “reasonable an proportionate” which would be great if only the Australian government didn’t have an extensive history of persecuting critics, whistleblowers, dissenters, or of placing children looking for asylum in concentration camps.
And all those things are also documented in the ad. “So you can count on us to be reasonable and proportionate,” says the ad, “and if we’re not, well, you’ll never hear about it” because the new law includes a ten-year jail sentence for any whistleblowers.
The Australien Government has made an ad about its new anti encryption law and it's surprisingly honest and informative. pic.twitter.com/P2jrQ8theI
— W (@FluidFix) December 11, 2018
How can any country get away with something like this? Well, Australia doesn’t have a bill of rights. It’s never had one. It started as a penal colony in which only criminals could live and it hasn’t corrected that original sin over the years even if it’s now considered to be one of the world’s most developed countries. The mindset in Australian laws remains thinking they’re dealing with criminals.
The ad also includes information about a survey system in which Australian citizens can denounce and complain about the new law. We’ll have to wait and see how that works.
It all finishes with the words “Relax, we’re not after your dickpicks (just about the last shreds of your civil liberties).”
It’s very hard to convey the experience of watching this ad. It’s funny, it’s cynical, it’s honest and informative. But it’s also scary as hell. It’s Big Brother wearing some clown’s makeup and suit in order to tell you exactly what he’s planning to do with you. But Big Brother remains such whatever makeup or clothes he uses.
If you are Australian, this probably a critical time to rise up and make your voice heard, assuming you don’t approve of the new law. If you’re not Australian, it’s a time to be vigilant because this could happen again in any country in the world.
Image courtesy of Pixabay.