US warrants could be used to access Australian data

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CJRC member Dr Monique Mann spoke to the ABC today about the upcoming US Supreme Court case US v Microsoft Ireland.

This case has global significance as the US government’s position would effectively undermine the data protection and privacy laws of other countries by giving the US government the power to unilaterally seize data no matter where it is located (and without regard for laws protecting that data).

Dr Mann and Dr Ian Warren (Deakin University) examine this case in their chapter in the recently published Palgrave Handbook of Criminology and the Global South.

In Dr Mann’s role as Co-Chair of the Surveillance Committee and Director of the Australian Privacy Foundation she led Australian efforts to join an Amicus Brief by Privacy International in a coalition of 25 international human and digital rights organisations in support of Microsoft in the US Supreme Court case.

To read the chapter click here.

To read the ABC article click here.

 

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.

CJRC Privacy Expert Discusses the ‘RoboDebt Data Matching Scandal’

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CJRC researcher and privacy expert Dr Monique Mann from the School of Justice, Faculty of Law, recently spoke to New Matilda about the RoboDebt data matching scandal.

Dr Mann compares the robo-debt fiasco to the movie I, Daniel Blake. “It’s a Kafka-esque nightmare,” she told New Matilda in an interview. “There are real questions about the reliability of the data and the program used to match data between Centrelink and the Australian Taxation Office.” Read more

Upcoming Event at Deakin University: Public Seminar on Policing, Cyberspace and Surveillance

Deakin University Criminology

On Monday 28th November (10:30am-1pm) Deakin Criminology is holding a public seminar examining the broad theme of Policing, Cyberspace, Surveillance. All are welcome and can attend at Deakin Waterfront Campus (D3.321), Burwood Campus (F2.009) or via VMP (03-5223-9354). Critical discussion will be framed around the following three papers. Read more

CJRC researcher discusses issues of digital security on Future Tense

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CJRC researcher and lecturer Dr Monique Mann from the School of Justice, Faculty of Law, has recently spoken to ABC’s Future Tense program about issues of digital security.

This discussion draws on Dr Mann’s recent work on privacy within the digital spaceRead more

Worried your emails might be spied on? Here’s what you can do

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This post authored by Dr. Monique Mann originally appeared on The Conversation on Tuesday 11 October 2016. 

We live in a post-Edward Snowden world, in which US tech companies have been accused of complicity in mass surveillance by the US National Security Agency (NSA). One recent allegation is the claim that Yahoo scanned hundreds of millions of emails at the NSA’s request.

We don’t truly know how much or how often this is happening within the companies that host millions of people’s email accounts. Read more

CJRC Researcher Dr Monique Mann speaks to ABC radio about privacy issues with Census data

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Dr Monique Mann from the School of Justice, Faculty of Law, recently spoke to ABC news radio about the heightened privacy concerns surrounding the 2016 Census.

Dr Mann explained how “Anonymity is impossible, even with the promise of de-identification, because data can be easily re-identified.”

To listen to the full interview, click here.