SURVEILLANCE

Pirate Party AU defends encryption from government interference

In the wake of the Melbourne terror incident and the terror attacks in London and Manchester the Federal government is attempting to shift some of the blame for the actions of the terrorists in these latest attacks on to large Internet companies and the encryption technology which keeps us all safe online.

Pirate Party Australia opposes any weakening of encryption because it will be ineffective, it will harm the privacy of ordinary citizens and it will make it easier for private data to be stolen by hackers, both criminal and state sponsored.

The Internet relies on functioning encryption to protect users from attack. It is estimated that in 2016 ‘cybercrime’ increased by 30% and cost the Australian economy three billion dollars.[1] Every time a vulnerability is created, such as allowing intelligence agencies to access private communications, it creates another vector for attacks to occur.

Privacy International Sues US Government Over Denied Access To Five Eyes Surveillance Agreements

The last thing anyone heard about Five Eyes surveillance partnerships via official channels was more than seven years ago. In the intervening years, leaked documents have shed a little light on the information sharing Five Eyes countries (US, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand) engage in. But the last Five Eyes agreement released is now more than 60 years old.

The Five Eyes group has existed since 1946 and the last document officially published about it comes from 1955. Since then, vast technological changes have altered how national security bodies collect and store information.
READ MORE: https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20170708/08510237739/privacy-internati...

Five Eyes and the encryption enigma

This week senior government figures from the ‘Five Eyes’ nations - US, Australia, Canada, UK and New Zealand - met in Ottawa to consider further measures on counter-terrorism cooperation. Top of the substantive agenda this week was what, if anything, to do about encrypted communications.

This topic resurfaced with the most recent UK attacks as it became clear that terrorists are embracing methods of communication now freely available (such as WhatsApp, Signal and Facebook Messaging) to frustrate interception, surveillance and pre-emptive arrests under post-9/11 anti-terror laws.
READ MORE: https://www.lowyinstitute.org/the-interpreter/five-eyes-and-encryption-e...

Australia announces plan to ban working cryptography at home and in the US, UK, New Zealand, and Canada

The Australian Attorney General and a key Australian minister have published a memo detailing the demand they plan on presenting to the next Five Eyes surveillance alliance meeting, which will be held next week in Ottawa.

The Australian officials will demand that their surveillance partners join with them in a plan to force "service providers to ensure reasonable assistance is provided to law enforcement and security agencies" when spies and police want to read messages that have been encrypted.
READ MORE: http://boingboing.net/2017/06/26/crypto-denialism.html

UK Government Using Manchester Attacks As An Excuse To Kill Encryption

It's no secret that there are those in the current UK government who are just itching to kill encryption. Earlier this year, Home Secretary Amber Rudd made some profoundly ill-informed comments about how encryption on the internet was "completely unacceptable" and saying that they needed to stop companies from providing end-to-end encryption. And, in the recently leaked Tory Manifesto, it was made clear that the current government sees breaking encryption as a priority.
READ MORE: https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20170524/23452737451/uk-government-usi...

Microsoft Warns Of ‘Orwellian Future’ As WikiLeaks Exposes Participation With Surveillance

Recently, an instalment of WikiLeaks’ Vault7 documents came to light that exposed two CIA malware programs that specifically infect Microsoft computers with the purpose of carrying out tasks on infected computers, checking for scheduled events, and collecting data.

The revelation put Microsoft in the hot seat, with people speculating that the tech giant may have been aware that the CIA works with features specifically built into Microsoft computers to collect data and perform tasks.

Microsoft’s history would suggest the worst, from Edward Snowden’s 2013 leaks that revealed Microsoft had “collaborated closely with US intelligence services to allow users’ communications to be intercepted, including helping the National Security Agency to circumvent the company’s own encryption,” to the NSA bragging about their newly acquired ability to triple the amount of Skype video calls being collected through Prism just nine months after Microsoft bought Skype.

ARGUS

Don’t use the Manchester attack to expand the surveillance state; it’s never worked before

In spite of the focus that GCHQ – who operate on a budget of £1.6 billion a year – have placed on the North African nation that is ruled by an interim government, Salman Abedi was able to travel to the country and return with the skills and support that enabled him to carry-out such a devastating attack.

GCHQ have several times been ruled as in violation of the European Convention of Human Rights for illegally intercepting civilian communications without sufficient legal oversight. We are repeatedly told that this is for our protection; no doubt, like the Westminster attack, this latest tragedy will be used as an excuse to curtail basic civil liberties. But no matter how much money we throw at them, and how little we diminish their legal responsibilities, UK intelligence agencies are repeatedly failing.
READ MORE: https://leakofnations.com/dont-use-the-manchester-attack-to-expand-the-s...

Security services missed five opportunities to stop the Manchester bomber

The Manchester suicide bomber was repeatedly flagged to the authorities over his extremist views, but was not stopped by officers, it emerged Wednesday night.

Counter Terrorism agencies were facing questions after it emerged Salman Abedi told friends that “being a suicide bomber was okay”, prompting them to call the Government’s anti-terrorism hotline.

Sources suggest that authorities were informed of the danger posed by Abedi on at least five separate occasions in the five years prior to the attack on Monday night.
READ MORE: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/05/24/security-services-missed-five...

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