Attacks on Encryption – Event Report

Prof. Reece Walter with speakers

Belinda Carpenter opening the event

On Thursday the 5th of October the Crime and Justice Research Centre, in collaboration with civil society groups the Australian Privacy Foundation, Digital Rights Watch Australia and FutureWise, and industry partner ThoughtWorks, hosted an event on ‘Attacks on Encryption.’ This in response to the Australian Government’s intention to pursue new and increased powers to access encrypted communications via s’backdoors.’

A panel of encryption experts, international privacy law experts, politicians, digital rights advocates, and journalists examined the social and technical consequences of the proposed new ‘backdooring’ powers. They argued these powers are unnecessary and should be highly concerning for Australians who, unlike other western democracies, do not have a constitutional right to privacy.

Presentations from the night are available at the following links:
Surveillance politics
Former Senator Mr Scott Ludlam
https://youtu.be/Y-puLRRFohQ

Legal dimensions of the global #waronmaths
Angela Daly, Digital Rights Watch Australia and QUT Law
https://youtu.be/Y-puLRRFohQ?t=21m35s

Government attacks on encryption and civil society coalition campaigns
Justin Clacherty, Redfish Group, Australian Privacy Foundation, and Future Wise
https://youtu.be/Y-puLRRFohQ?t=36m15s

Breaking Encryption for Dummies
Robin Doherty, ThoughtWorks and Hack for Privacy and Eru Penkman, ThoughtWorks and brisSafety
https://youtu.be/Y-puLRRFohQ?t=58m50s
Slides: https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1izSTqTmO3Gl79KrliUoeBoFi44NceL4pSIbY8yl-Ur0/edit?usp=sharing

Encryption for journalists
Felix Münch, PhD Candidate QUT Digital Media Research Centre
https://youtu.be/Y-puLRRFohQ?t=1h22m
Slides: https://flxvctr.github.io/encrypt_all_the_things_primer/

The contested moral legitimacy of encryption ‘backdoors’
Michael Wilson, QUT Justice PhD Candidate
https://youtu.be/Y-puLRRFohQ?t=1h40m44s

Discussant
Phil Green, QLD Privacy Commissioner
https://youtu.be/Y-puLRRFohQ?t=1h51m24s

Q&A Panel
https://youtu.be/Y-puLRRFohQ?t=1h58m32s

Further information about the event can be found at this link:

https://www.attacks-on-encryption.com/

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.