HomeTechnology"This is not the time to weaken encryption”: Apple to Australia

“This is not the time to weaken encryption”: Apple to Australia

Apple recently filed its formal opposition to a new bill which is being proposed by the Australian government that critics say would weaken encryption.

If the bill passes, the “Assistance and Access Bill 2018” would create a new kind of warrant that would allow what governments often call lawful access to thwart encryption. This is something that the former Australian attorney general proposed last year.

The California company said in a filing which was provided to reporters on Friday, that the proposal was flawed.

The company wrote that this is no time to weaken encryption. It added that there is profound risk of making criminals’ jobs more easier and not harder.

According to the company, increasingly stronger—not weaker—encryption is the best way to protect against these threats.

Apple targeted American authorities directly, having called the “going dark” problem—the notion that strong encryption makes it much more difficult for law enforcement to access hardened devices.

The FBI and the Department of Justice have pushed for something similar for decades to no avail and no specific legislation has been put forward in the United States since the failed “Clipper Chip” proposal at the time of Clinton administration.

However, high-ranking FBI and DOJ officials during both the Obama and Trump administrations have always lambasted this issue.

“Some suggest that a few exceptions can be made, and access to encrypted data could be created only for only those sworn to uphold the public good,” Apple continued.

“The premise is completely baseless as encryption is simply math. Any process that weakens the mathematical models protecting user data for anyone will by extension weaken the protections for all. It would be extremely wrong to weaken security for millions of customers who are law-abiding in order to investigate the very few who pose a threat”, the company added.

Dozens of other parties have also filed other briefs, offering up their comments about this proposed legislation. The Office of the Victorian Information Commissioner also expressed similar concerns.

Riana Pfefferkorn, a Stanford legal fellow, called the bill  as “dangerous and misguided.”

In the meanwhile, the Police Federation of Australia has offered its support of the bill.



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