Oz Greens crypto anti-backdoor motion shot down by major parties

Conservatives join forces in hoisting crypto-hating flag

Australia's major political parties have slapped down a motion by the Australian Greens Senator Scott Ludlam to acknowledge the need for strong encryption.

The conservative Turnbull Government and Labor opposition rejected the motion put forward in the Senate this week by the technology-savvy communications spokesman.

Ludlam's motion asked that the need for encryption as a protector of privacy and financial security be acknowledged.

But the 16 - 39 slap down of the motion was likely spurred by the motion's inclusion of a request that the Government resist requests to weaken encryption.

Governments around the world are universally launching half-baked assaults against encryption in a bid to secure means for law enforcement and spy agencies to gain access to otherwise scrambled communications.

The addition of an acknowledgement that the importance of encryption to whistleblowers be recognised would serve an equally bitter pill for both major parties who enthusiastically voted-in Antipodean laws to lock-up whistleblowers and journalists disclosing secret national security operations.

Attorney-General George Brandis told reporters last week while the facts of the FBI's court order demanding Apple probe certain iPhones would not apply in Australia, it is important for technology companies to cooperate with law enforcement.

“... nevertheless there is a broader problem for law enforcement, in all jurisdictions frankly, if data is encrypted in a way that is entirely inaccessible without the cooperation of the ISP or the maker of the device, then that makes inaccessible relevant investigative information that would hitherto have been accessible and that’s a problem for law enforcement,” Brandis said.

Greens and independent Senators Nick Xenophon, Ricky Muir, Jacquie Lambie, David Leyonhjelm, and Zhenya Wang joined Greens in support of the motion.

The motion's defeat does not mean the Federal Government will seek to undermine encryption but is another blow to Antipodean privacy and security advocates. ®

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