Australian attorney general wants the power to launch man-in-the-middle attacks on secure Internet connections


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We’re sorry, we’re so, so sorry. We marched, we leafleted, we told our friends and neighbors about the important stories that the Murdoch-dominated press refused to cover (Murdoch’s papers sell 70% of Australia’s newsprint), and it wasn’t enough. The Left was too disorganised and just couldn’t sell themselves well enough, couldn’t explain clearly enough. And now we’ve got a new national government with no real policies except to rip down whatever the previous government built, no matter how good it was.

The only solace I can offer the world is that our young people may well be our salvation. The Year 9 students (High School Freshman in the USA) from Newton High School (a performing arts-focused institution) were on a tour of the national capitol, and our Prime Minister (leader of the party that holds the most seats in our lower house) decided to answer a few questions. They zinged him, over and over. He begged for a guy’s question, like what his favourite sporting team was, and a guy piped up.

He asked him why he had made himself the Minister for Women… My generation may have dropped the ball, but hopefully the next one will know how to scoop it up and change everything for the better.


Impressive–here in 'merica when we do these things (they are happening at a seemingly rapid pace nowadays) we just say, “Yeah? And what are you gonna do about it?”

Let’s hope your AG fails in his mission. However, the more common these sorts of pleas become, and given the backlash against companies seen as colluding, or at the very least remaining passive, towards government requests, it seems to me that end-to-end encryption will be getting baked in to a larger and larger share of computer tools. At least, that’s my hope.
For that matter, I think that any legislator who moves to legalize such surveillance ought to be placed under the very surveillance they are requesting for a 180 day period with the results released to the public. We can call it the Feinstein effect.


There are still a few of us who remember the “crypto wars” of the 80s and 90s, when the US Federal Government was doing its best to keep useful cryptography from the general public. One of the proposals was “key escrow,” where copies of cryptographic keys would be held by the Government (the purported reasons varied, the solution remained the same.)

In the end, the fact that the USA couldn’t keep the rest of the world from discovering mathematics – especially when the maths in question actually originated outside of the USA to begin with – put an end to the authoritarian push for key escrow.

Then 9/11 and a whole new excuse came along, the Powers that Be got a little less heavy-handed, and the public got more complacent.

And here we are.

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The only way that Australia and other countries currently involved in abusing people to “change everything for the better” is to tear down the institutions that keep enabling it.

Do I think that this or the next generation are going to do that? No. Excuse me for being awfully cynical today.

Do you mean Government? Exactly how to you propose to choose leaders then, given we don’t all live in self-sustaining villages, and don’t yet have the ability to instantly and securely find a consensus on an issue, or the will to educate ourselves (by which I mean the average voter) on what an informed position would be.

I propose we don’t choose leaders at all.

Scandalous, I know.

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