Event: Attacks on Encryption – Privacy, Civil Society and the Surveillance State

Join the Australian Privacy FoundationDigital Rights Watch AustraliaFuture Wise, and the QUT Crime and Justice Research Centre at ThoughtWorks Brisbane to discuss ‘Attacks on Encryption: Privacy, Civil Society, and the Surveillance State.’

The Australian Government’s intention to pursue new and increased powers to access encrypted communications via statutorily required ‘backdoors’ has been met with wide-ranging privacy and information security concerns.

On 5 October 2017, a panel of encryption experts, international privacy law experts, academics, politicians, digital rights advocates, and journalists will unpack the social and technical consequences of the proposed new ‘backdooring’ powers.

At present, it is unclear if Australia’s laws will require so-called ‘backdoor’ vulnerabilities to be built into messaging applications like Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp. However, if this were to occur, it would enable government access to these services via decryption keys and/or enable remote access to devices for interception of communications “at the ends”. Experts argue that these powers are unnecessary and should be highly concerning for Australians who, unlike other western democracies, do not have a constitutional right to privacy.

This Attacks on Encryption event is relevant to anyone concerned about security and responsible governance and will cover the consequences of engineering ‘backdoors’ into commercially available encryption software, the issues associated with companies being compelled to decrypt user data, and forcing the design of communications tools that allow government interception.

Speakers include:

  • Former Senator Mr Scott Ludlam: Surveillance politics
  • Angela Daly, Digital Rights Watch Australia and QUT Law: Legal dimensions of the global #waronmaths
  • Justin Clacherty, Redfish Group, Australian Privacy Foundation, and Future Wise: Government attacks on encryption and civil society coalition campaigns
  • Robin Doherty, ThoughtWorks and Hack for Privacy and Eru Penkman, ThoughtWorks and brisSafety: Breaking Encryption for Dummies
  • Brenda Moon, QUT Digital Media Research Centre and Felix Münch, PhD Candidate QUT Digital Media Research Centre: Encryption for journalists
  • Michael Wilson, QUT Justice PhD Candidate: The contested moral legitimacy of encryption ‘backdoors’
  • Discussant: Phil Green, QLD Privacy Commissioner

The event will be hosted at ThoughtWorks Brisbane with catering and refreshments provided, but we will also be live streaming and providing remote links via the cyber.

For more information and speaker biographies and abstracts: https://www.attacks-on-encryption.com/

To register: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/attacks-on-encryption-privacy-civil-society-and-the-surveillance-state-tickets-37527225943

Note: The event is currently sold out with a waitlist but in the event that CJRC members register then tickets will be released to them as priority attendees.

For further information contact Dr Monique Mann as event organiser.

Justice Professor joins Queensland Attorney General to detail reforms to youth justice system

John Scott alongside the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Yvette D’Ath and Minister for Child safety, Shannon Fentiman, at a Press conference on Friday

On the 15 September School of Justice Professor, John Scott, joined the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Yvette D’Ath and Minister for Child safety, Shannon Fentiman, at a press conference in the Queensland Parliament outlining the  Palaszczuk Government’s timeline for the integration of 17-year-olds into the youth criminal system, to break the cycle of youth offending, reduce remand numbers and create safer communities.

 

Staged transitioning will begin in November 2017, and the Youth Justice and Other Legislation (Inclusion of 17-year-old Persons) Amendment Act will commence on 12 February 2018.

The plan also includes:

  • Supervised Bail Accommodation Services as an option for 14-17 year olds from November 2017
  • Separate zones within Brisbane Youth Detention Centre and Cleveland Youth Detention Centre for 10-13 year olds
  • Recruitment of new frontline staff for courts, community and Youth Detention Centres
  • More resources for courts, including two more magistrates, to ensure timely processes
  • Provision of after-hours legal services to young people and increased funding for Legal Aid Queensland

Mrs D’Ath said about 80% of young people in youth detention in Queensland were on remand, awaiting the outcome of their court matters. Often, this is because there is no suitable accommodation or support services for their release on supervision. The nationwide average for young people on remand is 57%.The plan will provide courts with another bail alternative, reducing their reliance on remand as a solution for youths who have no safe home to go to. Nine sites will provide specialised Bail accommodation centres at Carbrook, Camooweal, Jacobs Well, Mt Isa, Wacol, Logan Reserve and in two existing facilities in Townsville. The majority are in rural or semi-rural areas. Youth justice workers would be based at the Supervised Bail Accommodation and there will also be health, education and other services available.

Professor Scott spoke in support of the measures, but said they may not be initially popular.

“It may not win votes; it’s not an ideological initiative, it’s not a political initiative,” he said.

He said “This is Criminology 101, we need to be careful that young people are integrated back into communities and not isolated or stigmatised.”

He also noted that these initiatives would have positive impacts for rural communities and this was important, especially given rural young people faced additional challenges in terms of lack of resources and justice options.

Congratulations to PhD candidate Rosalie Gillett – 2nd place QUT Grand Final – Three Minute Thesis (3MT)

Three minute Thesis grand final

 

Three minute Thesis grand final

Congratulations to School of Justice PhD candidate, Rosalie Gillett, on being awarded 2nd place in the Three Minute Thesis (3MT) university-wide QUT Grand Final.

The Three Minute Thesis (3MT) is an annual research communication competition where active professional doctorate and PhD candidates have three minutes to present a compelling oration on their thesis topic and its significance.

After being awarded first place in the Faculty of Law round of 3MT, Rosalie progressed to the university-wide competition, which was held on 6 September 2017.

Rosalie’s research seeks to better understand women’s experiences of harassment and abuse on the dating app Tinder. She is interested in less overt forms of gendered harassment and abuse, what she terms unwanted interactions, which the app may facilitate. She argues that a ‘boys will be boys’ attitude positions men’s inappropriate behaviour as typical and normal. However, her research seeks to highlight how unwanted interactions on Tinder can have cumulative effects that are as important to study as physical violence.

A blog post recently published about Rosalie’s research can be found here:

https://digitalsocialcontract.net/the-games-called-barbie-i-ll-be-ken-and-you-be-the-box-i-come-in-576341c7ed62

Congratulations Rosalie!

Event: Attacks on Encryption: Privacy, Civil Society and the Surveillance State

 

Join the Australian Privacy Foundation, Digital Rights Watch Australia, Future Wise, and the QUT Crime and Justice Research Centre at ThoughtWorks Brisbane office to discuss ‘Attacks on Encryption: Privacy, Civil Society, and the Surveillance State.’

The Australian Government has announced it will pursue new powers to access encrypted communications. At present, it is unclear if Australia’s laws will require so-called backdoor vulnerabilities to be built into messaging applications. They could compel access via decryption keys or they might enable remote access to devices for interception of communications “at the ends.”

There are wide ranging privacy and information security concerns in relation to these proposed new laws.

We have brought together a range of experts to have a critical conversation about surveillance politics, international dimensions of privacy law, the contested moral legitimacy of encryption backdoors, encryption for journalists and current civil society campaigns in this area.

Confirmed speakers include:

  • Former Senator Mr Scott Ludlam: Surveillance politics
  • Dr Angela Daly, Digital Rights Watch Australia and QUT Law: Legal dimensions of the global #waronmaths
  • Mr Justin Clacherty, Redfish Group, Australian Privacy Foundation, and Future Wise: Government attacks on encryption and civil society coalition campaigns
  • Mr Robin Doherty, ThoughtWorks and Hack for Privacy and Mr Eru Penkman, ThoughtWorks and brisSafety: How would backdoors actually operate in practice?
  • Dr Brenda Moon, QUT Digital Media Research Centre and Mr Felix Muench, PhD Candidate QUT Digital Media Research Centre: Encryption for journalists
  • Mr Michael Wilson, QUT Justice PhD Candidate: The contested moral legitimacy of encryption ‘backdoors’
  • Discussant: Mr Phil Green, QLD Privacy Commissioner

The event will be live streamed for those interested and unable to join in person. Further details about remote links and full abstracts and speaker bios to follow.

Arrive at 17:30 for food, drinks and networking with presentations commencing at 18:00 sharp.

*REGISTRATION ESSENTIAL AS LIMITED TICKETS AVAILABLE

Date and Time

Thu. 5 October 2017, 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm AEST

LOCATION

ThoughtWorks Brisbane, 127 Creek Street, Level 19, Brisbane City, QLD 4000, Australia

For further information …

 

https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/attacks-on-encryption-privacy-civil-society-and-the-surveillance-state-tickets-37527225943

Crime and Justice Research Centre Seminar Series – : Women and the Organisation of Serious Crime and Gain with Professor Liz Campbell

Crime and Justice Research Centre Seminar Series with speaker Professor Liz Campbell
 
Topic: Women and the Organisation of Serious Crime and Gain

Date:         Friday 22 September 2017
When:       3.30pm – 5.00pm
Venue:      C Block, level 4, room C412,
QUT Gardens Point Campus,
2 George Street, Brisbane

Register:  by Thursday 21 September 2017
by accepting calendar invitation or emailing
law.research@qut.edu.au.

Further information can be found in the following link:

Crime and Justice Research Centre Seminar Series

with speaker Professor Liz Campbell

 

 

 

Molly Dragiewicz speaking at European Conference on Domestic Violence

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Associate Professor Molly Dragiewicz from Crime and Justice Research Centre at Queensland University of Technology will speak at the II European Conference on Domestic Violence in Porto, Portugal on 8 September 2017. Read more

Algorithmic transparency in online censorship

Crime and Justice Research Centre Member Dr Monique Mann, along with QUT Law Professor Matthew Rimmer, spoke to Renegade Inc about the issue of algorithmic transparency in online censorship and the regulation of automated decision-making by technology giants.

Renegade Inc. is an independent knowledge platform for people who think differently. They find thinkers, writers, leaders and creators in search of the best new ideas, businesses and policies. Many more people are now questioning the conventional wisdom of modern life and asking a simple question: How do I live well during the age of uncertainty? Renegade Inc. was founded to answer some of those questions.

——————————————————————————————————————–Dr Monique Mann, researcher at Queensland University of Technology’s Crime and Justice Research Centre, and Director of Australian Privacy Foundation told Renegade Inc that these issues of censorship relate to broader issues around bias in computer systems.

“These decisions aren’t being made by formal enforcement bodies, or any kind of body with authorised legal powers,” she said. “This process is occurring by transnational companies and platforms, these tech giants are acting like big regulators.”

Dr Mann says these instances of censorship by algorithm raises questions over trade secrets and proprietary rights.

“These trade secrets and algorithms are how they operate,” she said. “But they introduce additional challenges and barriers to transparency and accountability of algorithms, themselves protected under international property law.”

Hypothetically Google is applying a colour-blind algorithm. Dr Mann says the question is over what happens when algorithms are built by “digital duopolies” to match societal expectations.

“Google is deciding what is an acceptable story, and what is unacceptable, whose views and voices are preferenced, and whose are silenced,” she said. “There is no transparency and accountability. These companies are protected by very serious financial investments and fields of law.”

Dr Monique Mann told Renegade Inc that there has been a suggestion that some tweets made by President Trump violate Twitter’s terms of service, because they contain hate-speech that targets certain groups and minority populations: particularly Muslims and the LGBTQI community given his recent attempt to enact a Muslim ban and deny health care to LGBTQI servicemen, women and those who identify as neither, or have them thrown out of the service altogether.

“But are Twitter likely to block Trump for violating its terms of service?,” she asked. “These are all very loaded and difficult decisions around what constitutes hate speech vs political expression. These are very contested issues and I do not think there are any easy answers here.”

A battle for the heart and soul of the web

Dr Matthew Rimmer, Professor of IP and Innovation Law and Queensland University of Technology told Renegade Inc that how these companies manage information is becoming increasingly important.

“Their duties and responsibilities are becoming quite significant,” he said. “There is a battle for the heart and soul of the internet in many ways.”

“Tim Berners Lee, (computer scientist and inventor of the World Wide Web), commented recently that the open system he helped create has come under threat from various corporate players who have enacted site blocking and surveillance. He said it is important to address the balance away from big IT companies and other corporations and national governments. He wants to recover the emancipatory potential of the internet and World Wide Web. There are some larger questions involved in terms of the future evolution of the regime.”

Dr Mann said that automation through algorithm is ‘falling into a trap’ that is not going to find us any easy answers.

“These processes and the way they operate create a range of additional problems,” she said. “I don’t think technology in this situation is going to be the panacea for social issues.”

To read the full article, click here: https://renegadeinc.com/truth-will-not-be-googled/

 

 

Responding to domestic and family violence in the digital age – NSW Legal Aid

Women’s Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Program held a forum about Responding to Domestic and Family Violence in the Digital Age on 2 August 2017.

CJRC’s Bridget Harris was invited to present at this forum on the topic of Technology Facilitated Abuse in Rural and Regional Areas.

For information regarding Bridget’s presentation please contact bridget.harris@qut.edu.au