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Thursday, 22 June 2017
George Brandis's salvo in cryptowars could blow a hole in architecture of the internet
In 1993 the US president Bill Clinton’s administration introduced the “Clipper chip” into America’s digital and consumer electronics. It was one of the earliest attempts to enforce a backdoor into digital products, and the first in what is known as the cryptowars, when the US government fought to control and regulate strong encryption. The Clipper chip was a catastrophic failure. It’s a failure the attorney general, George Brandis, may find instructive, as he places Australia on the frontline of a new cryptowar.This weekend Brandis sought to revive a debate that has continued for several years about granting governments greater access to encrypted messaging communication to aid criminal investigations. In an interview with Sky News, Brandis said he would approach the Five Eyes intelligence network – made up of the US, the UK, Canada, New Zealand and Australia – to ask them to consider imposing greater legal obligations on device makers and social media companies “to cooperate with authorities in decrypting communications”. He looked favourably at laws passed in the UK that require device makers and messaging providers to provide greater assistance to authorities in decrypting messages. Norton Support Number