Unlocked doors mocked
Australia's anti-encryption laws are attracting international ridicule.
The rushed new laws that require companies in Australia to provide ‘backdoors’ for the Government to access encrypted information came up at a recent RSA security conference.
Whitfield Diffie – a pioneer of public-key cryptography - said Australia’s laws would not be “productive”.
“I think the problem is roughly this: that it's actually easy to disrupt the use of cryptography by legitimate large scale commercial organisations to make them a lot of trouble, but it's not clear whether those techniques are going to be the same amount of trouble to, for example, terrorists,” Diffie said, according to ITnews.
“So I think this is a step that is not going to be productive.”
He went on to lampoon former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s view that even mathematics itself can be made to conform to the law.
“The laws of mathematics are very commendable, but the only law that applies in Australia is the law of Australia,” Mr Turnbull said in 2017.
“I think he hasn't seen the possibilities,” Mr Diffie told the conference.
“I mean, if you extend his view to cover the laws of physics and the laws of chemistry, then if he outlawed high energy reactions and uranium and plutonium, they can protect themselves from nuclear weapons.
“And I think with the right chemical laws, they can protect themselves from global warming,” he said.