Australian Anti-Encryption Laws – what does it mean for Kiwis?
Firstly, what is an anti-encryption law? The legislation allows law enforcement agencies to compel companies to hand over user information, even if it’s protected by end-to-end encryption. If companies do not have the ability to intercept encrypted information, they can be forced to build tools to do so. The Australian government has argued that the powers are necessary to defend its citizens against terrorism and crime. The Verge has an interesting article on the pros and cons of this law, including the reasons why there is so much criticism from both technology and corporate leaders.
Forbes also have a blog which identifies the inherent weaknesses in the Australian government’s reasoning for this law and provides an international perspective of the problem.
So, what does this mean to the many Kiwi businesses and some government agencies who have outsourced IT to cloud computing services in Australia to take advantage of economies of scale offered by a range of Cloud providers. In January we posted a short blog which linked to an article by Richard McManus on Newsroom.
The NZ Herald also wrote an article on the implications of the new act on New Zealand companies.
There have been some amendments made to the bill in February, but it seems that we need to “watch this space” as we await advice and guidance from the NZ Government. There are some commentators predicting that there may not be an exodus of NZ companies leaving Australia based Cloud providers, but major providers of Cloud based services may be taking a second look at Australia as a base for their operations. This may bode well for New Zealand.
And for a link to our previous blog regarding the Australian Encryption Law go here