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posted by Fnord666 on Monday July 17, @10:13AM   Printer-friendly
from the ok-then dept.

ZDNet story

Regardless of what the laws of mathematics state around breaking into end-to-end encryption, the Australian government is determined to bring in laws that go against them, with the Prime Minister of Australia telling ZDNet that the laws produced in Canberra are able to trump the laws of mathematics

"The laws of Australia prevail in Australia, I can assure you of that," he said on Friday. "The laws of mathematics are very commendable, but the only law that applies in Australia is the law of Australia."

Turnbull also shows his erudition in regards with all cyber.

Under questioning from journalists, Turnbull gave his definition of a backdoor.

"A back door is typically a flaw in a software program that perhaps the -- you know, the developer of the software program is not aware of and that somebody who knows about it can exploit," he said. "And, you know, if there are flaws in software programs, obviously, that's why you get updates on your phone and your computer all the time."

"So we're not talking about that. We're talking about lawful access."

And, if the highest authority in Australia isn't enough, the Australian Attorney General also brings in an irrefutable argument from overseas authority - come on, punk, I dare you try to refute GCHQ, see what happens.

Speaking earlier on Friday morning, Brandis said he has been informed by the UK's Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) intelligence agency that the government's plan to bust encrypted messages is possible.

"Last Wednesday, I met with the chief cryptographer at GCHQ ... and he assured me this was feasible," he said.

Newscientist, buzzfeed, huffpo.


[Typo corrected post-publication - Ed.(FP)]

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  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by unauthorized on Monday July 17, @10:27AM (6 children)

    by unauthorized (3776) on Monday July 17, @10:27AM (#540243)

    "The laws of Australia prevail in Australia, I can assure you of that," he said on Friday. "The laws of mathematics are very commendable, but the only law that applies in Australia is the law of Australia."

    Please jump off a bridge Mr Turnbell, you'll be perfectly fine now that a=dv/dt does not apply to Australia.

    • (Score: 1) by jb on Monday July 17, @10:31AM (5 children)

      by jb (338) on Monday July 17, @10:31AM (#540245)

      Please jump off a bridge Mr Turnbell, you'll be perfectly fine now that a=dv/dt does not apply to Australia.

      That's physics, rather than mathematics, but it wouldn't surprise me at all if, after claiming victory over the laws of mathematics, he were to decide to take on the laws of physics next...

      • (Score: 4, Insightful) by looorg on Monday July 17, @10:37AM (1 child)

        by looorg (578) on Monday July 17, @10:37AM (#540248)

        Physics is just applied mathematics.

        https://xkcd.com/435/ [xkcd.com]

        • (Score: 1, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 17, @02:41PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 17, @02:41PM (#540323)

          Don't forget to look at the title text. It explains why you're wrong.

      • (Score: 2) by unauthorized on Monday July 17, @10:39AM (2 children)

        by unauthorized (3776) on Monday July 17, @10:39AM (#540249)

        Real numbers, division and equality are mathematics.

        • (Score: 3, Funny) by jb on Monday July 17, @10:51AM (1 child)

          by jb (338) on Monday July 17, @10:51AM (#540251)

          Real numbers, division and equality are mathematics.

          Given that in this case, the desired progress is imaginary, wouldn't its derivative also be?

  • (Score: 2, Interesting) by jb on Monday July 17, @10:36AM (14 children)

    by jb (338) on Monday July 17, @10:36AM (#540247)

    This is just the sort of nonsense we expect to hear from your average politician who wouldn't know any better.

    But it's especially disappointing to hear it from this particular PM, who a decade or two before becoming prime minister, used to be the chairman of a major Australian ISP...

    • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 17, @11:28AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 17, @11:28AM (#540258)

      ... which, in turn, tells you a lot about why the world is in it's current, sorry state.

      (Well, at least if you accept the isomorphism of human incompetence and stupidity across spatial and organizational boundaries. But I think we can agree on that one, here)

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by VLM on Monday July 17, @11:43AM (10 children)

      by VLM (445) Subscriber Badge on Monday July 17, @11:43AM (#540260)

      It seems obvious to me what

      What the government is proposing to do is to impose upon the companies an obligation

      means.

      They're not talking about breaking good crypto, they're talking about making it a crime to use good crypto or making it a crime to not filter internet connections to ban/prevent good crypto.

      The standard SN automobile analogy is this scenario is like making fun of a cop for being a moron because the laws of physics overrule his stupid speed limit and its trivial to construct an automobile that can exceed 25 MPH in this residential zone therefore him and his law is so ignorant ha ha ha funny.

      /usr/share/misc/magic on my machine has a little recipe for the file command to recognize GPG encrypted files. Simply do deep traffic analysis to block those and a bunch of MIME types and a bunch of SSH negotiations at the ISP level and they're pretty much all good. Not good enough to work, but good enough for the ISP to avoid prosecution by putting forth a reasonable effort. 40 bit DES keys will be permitted (well, this is nanny state, so maybe licensed...)

      I am a little unclear what the purpose of this is other than the usual power grab. I mean, this is freaking Australia. Not exactly Pearl Harbor every day over there. Its like putting lots of legislative effort against werewolves, elves, and centaurs, you can do it, but its not really worth the time.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 17, @12:02PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 17, @12:02PM (#540262)

        The standard SN automobile analogy is this scenario is like making fun of a cop for being a moron because the laws of physics overrule his stupid speed limit

        I've never heard any cop claim that traffic laws overrule the laws of physics.

        Any cop that would dive for cover when he is standing in the way of a speeding car is pretty well aware that the laws of physics always win.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 17, @12:12PM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 17, @12:12PM (#540265)

        Its like putting lots of legislative effort against werewolves, elves, and centaurs, you can do it, but its not really worth the time.

        You'll think differently when the werewolves attack! What do you mean, there are no werewolves? Of course you've never seen one, that's because our successful efforts to keep them away!

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 17, @02:02PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 17, @02:02PM (#540302)

          We need an immigration ban on Transylvania!

      • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Monday July 17, @12:57PM

        by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Monday July 17, @12:57PM (#540279)

        In other words, the end-to-end encryption apps (WhatsApp, Open Whisper, etc) will be banned into Australia, that's what you say?

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 17, @02:14PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 17, @02:14PM (#540309)

        Australia is one of the five eyes, us never need to pass these laws if they ship all ur data through the magic wombat anus. Or some such.

      • (Score: 2) by BK on Monday July 17, @03:34PM

        by BK (4868) on Monday July 17, @03:34PM (#540342)

        They're not talking about breaking good crypto, they're talking about making it a crime to use good crypto or making it a crime to not filter internet connections to ban/prevent good crypto.

        Well, China is moving in this direction and it seems that others will follow. Should this surprise us?

        --
        4 out of 5 dentists choose Brand X. The other is just a denier.
      • (Score: 2) by Mykl on Tuesday July 18, @03:57AM

        by Mykl (1112) on Tuesday July 18, @03:57AM (#540761)

        Agree that this seems like a power grab, and I suspect I know who the chief architect was [aph.gov.au].

        Brandis has been trying to control the Internet in Australia since Day 1 of becoming Attorney General. This is just the latest step in the process. A more dodgy AG would be hard to find.

        Very sad that the Libs have not been following the very relevant FBI case in the US last year. If Apple refuses to hand data over to the FBI, what makes Australia think that they'll all of a sudden roll over for them? The NSA leaks have also shown that governments cannot promise that their decryption tools and backdoors will never fall into the wrong hands.

      • (Score: 2) by kaszz on Tuesday July 18, @04:20AM (2 children)

        by kaszz (4211) on Tuesday July 18, @04:20AM (#540774) Journal

        Use stenography and streams within streams? on a superficial look it will look compliant and nice. Only when the data is need will it be a brick wall or a discovered diversion.

        • (Score: 2) by hendrikboom on Tuesday July 18, @12:53PM (1 child)

          by hendrikboom (1125) on Tuesday July 18, @12:53PM (#540924) Homepage

          steganography?

          • (Score: 2) by kaszz on Thursday July 20, @02:22AM

            by kaszz (4211) on Thursday July 20, @02:22AM (#541761) Journal

            Oooooppsie. Correct ;)

            Should be:

            Use steganography and streams within streams? on a superficial look it will look compliant and nice. Only when the data is needed will it be a brick wall or a discovered diversion.

    • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Tuesday July 18, @02:41AM

      by JoeMerchant (3937) on Tuesday July 18, @02:41AM (#540711)

      Chairman of a major business needs to know a lot of things - but very few of them about the core principles of the product the business sells.

      Won't anybody throw the Donald into the story title for a pun return?

    • (Score: 2) by kaszz on Tuesday July 18, @04:17AM

      by kaszz (4211) on Tuesday July 18, @04:17AM (#540772) Journal

      used to be the chairman

      Chairmen are usually the real owners and they belong usually to the executive and MBA ranks. Which usually have a negative correlation with technical knowledge. So there needs to be more than being a chairman to make his ISP "experience" to count into understanding the issues.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 17, @11:24AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 17, @11:24AM (#540257)

    Oh Malcolm, you and your spell books magic potions and magic wand, now run along and play in your room, the grownups need to have a chat, theres a good boy.

  • (Score: 2) by turgid on Monday July 17, @12:27PM

    by turgid (4318) on Monday July 17, @12:27PM (#540272) Journal

    Australia has plenty of coal. Maybe they're going to build an enormous coal-fired supercomputer capable of cracking strong encryption in real time? Surely if they pass a law...

    --
    Don't let Righty keep you down.
  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by jb on Monday July 17, @12:29PM (1 child)

    by jb (338) on Monday July 17, @12:29PM (#540273)

    If Mr Turnbull insists on repealing the laws of mathematics, I respectfully request that he begin by repealing De Morgan's Laws.

    With that done, it should be fairly straightfoward to "prove" in court that the computer which undertook the encryption couldn't possibly have worked in the first place.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 17, @03:50PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 17, @03:50PM (#540355)

      Turnbull is an irrational number.

  • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Monday July 17, @02:24PM (2 children)

    by DannyB (5839) on Monday July 17, @02:24PM (#540313)

    The subject line:

    The Laws of Australia Will Trump the Laws of Mathematics

    He said Trump. Is that a hidden meaning?

    For example:

    The US not participating in the Paris agreement will Trump the silly notion of global warming.

    It's like a state legislature deciding to legislate the value of Pi to be 3. Or letting people not have to buy health fire insurance until they actually have a fire.

    • (Score: 4, Funny) by FatPhil on Monday July 17, @02:33PM (1 child)

      by FatPhil (863) <pc-soylentNO@SPAMasdf.fi> on Monday July 17, @02:33PM (#540317) Homepage
      Hmm, we have the noun trump meaning fart, and the adjective trumped-up meaning fraudulent, perhaps we should coin a verb in honour of the great man:
          Trump (v.t.) To turn into a farce.
          Trump (v.t.) To display extreme ignorance of something.
      ?
      --
      I was worried about my command. I was the scientist of the Holy Ghost.
      • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 18, @01:41AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 18, @01:41AM (#540687)

        The Laws of Australia Will Bitch the Laws of Mathematics

        The Laws of Australia Will Jew the Laws of Mathematics

        The Laws of Australia Will Faggot the Laws of Mathematics

        The Laws of Australia Will Nigger the Laws of Mathematics

  • (Score: 2) by ilsa on Monday July 17, @02:44PM (2 children)

    by ilsa (6082) on Monday July 17, @02:44PM (#540327)

    Well, at least he hasn't tried to legislate the value of Pi like they did in Indiana.

    • (Score: 2) by Osamabobama on Monday July 17, @09:35PM (1 child)

      by Osamabobama (5842) on Monday July 17, @09:35PM (#540582)

      I don't have my law books handy; can you remind me? Is it 3?

      --
      Appended to the end of comments you post. Max: 120 chars.
      • (Score: 2) by AthanasiusKircher on Monday July 17, @10:53PM

        by AthanasiusKircher (5291) Subscriber Badge on Monday July 17, @10:53PM (#540617) Journal

        There are several values of Pi used in the proposed legislation. As I pointed out [soylentnews.org] in a previous story about this, the bill actually had nothing to do with redefining pi, which was a myth that developed later. It was about (a flawed method for) squaring the circle and essentially "licensing" said proof to Indiana textbooks and educators.

        Along the way, the bill did make use of various approximations for pi (mostly 3.2 and 4), but the bill in no way meant to redefine a mathematical constant, anymore than a bill including a mistake in a budget calculation intends to propose a new definition for addition or subtraction.

  • (Score: 2) by hendrikboom on Monday July 17, @08:38PM

    by hendrikboom (1125) on Monday July 17, @08:38PM (#540550) Homepage

    I wonder what the law of Australia has to say about the law of the excluded middle, the axiom of choice, synthetic differential geometry, and the continuum hypothesis, just to mention a few places where mathematics has wiggle room.

  • (Score: 2, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 17, @08:52PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 17, @08:52PM (#540558)

    For forty days and forty nights they toiled
    The kangaroos sweated, but were folied
    For they trumped the laws of mathematics
    And their zeroes became ones in attics

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