Multiple governments around the world have not taken a liking to encryption. In fact, some officials want to end encryption in their respective countries once and for all, which will be met with a lot of criticism. NordVPN is warning about a new bill making its way through Australia’s government right now. This new anti-encryption bill will have severe consequences if it is turned into law.
Australia Wants to end Encryption
It is neither the first nor the last time we will see government officials attempt to end encryption. In their opinion, encryption facilitates illegal and even terrorist activity. That has become the default excuse in this regard, even though most people see this as a direct attack on consumer privacy. Over in Australia, the government is currently considering a new anti-encryption bill, which is not to the liking of privacy advocates.
VPN service provider NordVPN is very outspoken in this regard. They consider this proposal a major threat to Australian internet privacy and security. It seems the new Australian proposal is based on the UK’s Investigatory Powers Act of 2016. This bill’s name may not ring a bell for most people, yet it is globally known as the world’s most invasive anti-privacy law in the entire Western world.
As part of the proposal, Australian government agencies would be able to collect communications data in bulk. This pertains to both internet and phone-based communication throughout all of Australia. Internet users would have their browser history exposed to the government, which is not a scenario that anyone should look forward to.
Forcing Australian ISPs and device makers to allow government agencies to intercept communication and user information is a very big problem. While it is understandable that the government wants to assist law enforcement and security agencies, getting rid of encryption is never the way. It’s not the first time the Australian government has tried to oppose encryption either.
More specifically, the government has been working on forcing platforms such as Whatsapp, Telegram, and Apple’s iMessage service to allow police to access these platforms in the name of national security. When governments attempt to access encrypted communication, it is evident they are trying to invade consumer privacy first and foremost. Privacy advocates will continue to oppose these attempts for obvious reasons.
For the time being, it remains to be seen how the Australian government will forge ahead in this regard. There is plenty of opposition to this new proposal, but that hasn’t kept governments from making very controversial decisions in the past. This proposal would eventually force more consumers to use VPNs, Tor, and other encryption-based solutions to keep their data out of the hands of the government. It’s an interesting situation to keep an eye on, even though things are not looking all that great right now.