Last week, Apple took a cue from Australia and backflipped on protecting its users privacy.
The worlds most popular phone maker shared plans to begin scanning for child pornography or sexually explicit material in messages sent by users over iMessage or uploaded to iCloud storage.
End-to-end encryption guarantees privacy because only the sender and recipient can read the information. It protects people from overbearing governments, nefarious hackers and companies who want to siphon every piece of data from their customers.
Boiled down, what Apple has proposed is a sophisticated way of seeing whats inside even end-to-end encrypted messages. And if this all sounds familiar, thats because Australia did it first.
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In 2018, the Morrison government passed world-first anti-encryption legislation that would force companies and individuals to break any protection they gave their users. Some cited the need to combat child sex abuse material as a reason for these powers.
At the time, my colleague Bernard Keane called these powers bureaucrat-designed malware. Early analysis suggests the law is costing us billions.
The critique of Australias law and Apples proposal is the same: even if your digital backdoor is used judiciously, its easy to ratchet it wider and for someone else to stroll on through.
Apple has to take the position of Im Not Like Those Other Tech Companies, Im A Cool Tech Company, billing itself as the anti-Google, anti-Facebook, pro-privacy company.
Famously, Apple rejected pressure from the FBI to unlock a phone belonging to one of the two perpetrators of the 2015 San Bernardino shooting. (Theres a link to Australia in this story: it was a small Australian firm that ended up unlocking the phone in 2016.) Apple argued at the time that it would be a slippery slope.
Critics of Apples decision are applying this same argument today: if Apple scans messages and uploads for child sex abuse material, why not for terrorist material? OK, maybe that argument is fine to you. What about when China tells Apple it has to scan certain political images, or prevent citizens from sending them?
Apple says it wont its policy only allows for child sex abuse material flagged in two countries to set off their systems but given its compromises with authoritarian China in the past, the idea of Apple conceding in some way to the regime isnt out of the question.
Others have taken note of this disregard for encryption too. A similar anti-encryption bill proposed in the US last year appears to have stalled, but a statement from the Five Eyes nations along with Japan and India shows that such powers are on their wanted lists as well.
While the world is catching up, Australia continues to set the pace. As part of the controversial Online Safety Act which comes into effect early 2022, the government has created a set of Basic Online Safety Expectations.
A draft of expectations outlines a requirement for large tech companies to take reasonable steps to develop and implement processes to detect and address material or activity on the service that is or may be unlawful or harmful, even for encrypted platforms. The eSafety Commissioner can fine companies more than $500,000 for failing to meet these expectations.
So to recap: three years ago, Australians could expect that messages sent to others would stay between them and the recipients. Today, were set to have a system that requires companies to create backdoors in every platform; a flaw just waiting to be abused.
The inside story: how homegrown true patriots sharing conspiracies on a Zoom call sparked police raids across three statesI wrote about how a plot was hatched over Telegram to overthrow the Australian government by a group that had declared themselves as the alternate Australian Federal Police. (Crikey)
Inside Racism HQ: How home-grown neo-Nazis are plotting a white revolutionNines Nick McKenzie and Joel Tozer deliver a blockbuster investigation into Australias most active neo-Nazi group. A must-read for seeing how hate continues to bubble on the fringes of Australian society. (Nine)
Journalist trolled by anti-vaxxers after promoting vaccine despite developing rare side effectDaily Telegraph journalist Georgia Clark suffered a rare side effect from a COVID-19 vaccine. When she restated her faith in vaccines, she was attacked by anti-vaxxers and conservatives from around the world. (SBS)
George Christensen is launching a patriotic news website modelled on the Drudge ReportWith the maverick MP set to retire from Parliament before the next election, a draft website discovered by The New Dailys Josh Butler shows one of the many irons that George Christensen has in the fire. Will it last longer than his abandoned website, newsletter and YouTube show? Time will tell. (The New Daily)
Australian conspiracy theorists and anti-lockdown groups share fake COVID check-in appsAnti-vaxxers have found a clever way to circumvent QR check ins: a fake app that actually sends their details to Russia. What could go wrong? (The Guardian)
Emojipedia, the internets encyclopedia for emojis, just got acquired by phone software company ZedgeI was not aware that the online encyclopedia for emojis was run by a company based in Australia! Its just been sold to phone software company Zedge (Business Insider).
This month marks the tenth anniversary of the death of Zyzz, a young man from Sydneys south west who found fame as a muscle-bound, meme-making online legend.
Zyzz real name Aziz Sergeyevich Shavershian first drew attention by sharing images of his transformation from a gangly teen into a shredded, jacked and tanned young man flexing at music festivals and goading other users on 4Chans fitness message board and the forum BodyBuilding.com. (Bodybuilders have long attracted the internets attention because of the natural magnetism of their extreme physiques.)
What Zyzz did with that attention cemented his status: he posted his way into creating a philosophy.
University of Canberra Professor Glen Fuller, who has written about Zyzz in the past, told me that Shavershian showed a preternatural understanding of memetic culture and an ability to perform as an online character.
Zyzz understood Zyzz wasnt a person or a quality. It was a trajectory, aspiring to transform the self. It resonated with blokes from south-western Sydney who didnt align with the dominant white male identity, he told me.
In a way, he was the proto-influencer and shitposter: before Instagram was even invented, he was posting photos and videos as if he was a celebrity caught by the paparazzi. He coined now-ubiquitous phrases u mirin, u jelly, aesthetic and poses. He performed different sides of himself for different formats: alpha male in his poses, self-aware joker winking at his audience in videos.
His tragic death from a heart attack aged just 22 while on holiday in Thailand cemented his status as a larger-than-life figure who was the patron saint of skinny boys who spent too long online.
A decade on from his death, there are literally dozens of Facebook pages, Instagram profiles and TikTok accounts around the world still actively sharing Zyzz content, ranging from grainy looking footage of his workouts to repurposing his iconic photos as meme templates a testament to the enduring quality of the Zyzz philosophy.
The admin of one such group, @thezyzzlegacy, is a 17-year-old from Italy named Alfonso. Despite being just seven years old when Zyzz died, Alonso says Zyzz inspired him to start bodybuilding at age 14.
When I asked him over WhatsApp why he was so fascinated with a long-dead Australian bodybuilder, Alfonso sent me a 500-word screed that quoted Zyzz liberally and waxed lyrically about his intelligence, self-awareness and dance moves.
Zyzz is not a person, Zyzz is a way of life, he said.
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- WhatsApp now lets users encrypt their chat backups in the cloud - TechCrunch - October 17th, 2021
- Meet the Alliance for Encryption in Latin America and the Caribbean - EFF - October 17th, 2021
- Apples plan to scan images will allow governments into smartphones - The Guardian - October 17th, 2021
- WhatsApp to bring in encryption for backup chats after privacy fears - The Guardian - October 15th, 2021
- WhatsApp end-to-end encrypted backups are rolling out on both Android and iOS - GSMArena.com news - GSMArena.com - October 15th, 2021
- Encryption: Why security threats coast under the radar - Philstar.com - October 15th, 2021
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- Homomorphic Encryption Market New Coming Industry to Witness Great Growth Opportunities in Coming Years From 2021 to 2027: Microsoft (US), IBM... - October 12th, 2021
- SmartKargo Incorporates EDIfly Advanced Aviation Messaging At No Cost for Customers of its E-Commerce Logistics Solution - Yahoo Finance - October 12th, 2021
- No outages, no data leaks: The new WhatsApp killer built on the blockchain creates privacy-focused encrypted messenger - Cointelegraph - October 12th, 2021
- Mosyle's $ 16M Series A Drives Growth by Launching the Mosyle Business with the Market's First Encrypted DNS Filtering and Security Solution -... - October 6th, 2021
- Tips to Secure and Encrypt your WIFI Network Security - H2S Media - October 6th, 2021
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- XSOC CORP Recognized by CyberSecurity Breakthrough Awards Program for Overall Encryption Solution of the Year - Business Wire - October 4th, 2021
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- Container security without governance is neither secure nor governed - The Register - October 4th, 2021
- Sectigo Certificate Manager Wins 2021 CyberSecurity Breakthrough Award for Overall Encryption Solution Provider of the Year - PRNewswire - October 4th, 2021
- Customs and Border Protection Signs Major Contract With Amazon-Owned Encrypted Chat App Wickr - Gizmodo - October 4th, 2021
- Encryption cant be used as excuse to deny sharing details to law enforcement: Govt - The Financial Express - October 4th, 2021
- Facebook announces WhatsApp end-to-end encrypted (E2EE) backups - Techiexpert.com - TechiExpert.com - October 4th, 2021
- Bluefin Issues New Payment Security Brief on PCI-validated P2PE for Petroleum and Convenience Stores - PR Web - October 4th, 2021
- Get a lifetime of easy, automatic encryption for all of the files on your computer for just $30 - ZDNet - September 24th, 2021
- Tide encryption is ready to end the cyber breach pandemic - TechCrunch - September 24th, 2021
- The FBI has kept the presence of the encryption key secret from Casey for three weeks. - Cheraw Chronicle - September 24th, 2021
- Braves non-tracking, browser-based video conferencing tool is out of beta - TechCrunch - September 24th, 2021
- 5 ways to stay ahead of government-targeted ransomware - GCN.com - September 24th, 2021
- Encryption Software Market expectation surges with rising demand and changing trends by industry analysis through 2026 Stillwater Current -... - September 24th, 2021
- What Is a Hardware Security Module? HSMs Explained - Hashed Out by The SSL Store - September 24th, 2021
- Making the Most from WEP - Wi-FiPlanet.com - Wi-Fi Planet - September 24th, 2021
- Brave, the startup behind untracked browser-based video conferencing tool is out of beta - Security News - BollyInside - September 24th, 2021
- Hardware Encryption Devices Market Is Expected To Witness Healthy Growth At A CAGR Of More Than 40% - Herefordshire Live - Herefordshire Live - September 24th, 2021
- WhatsApp launches encryption in iCloud and Google Drive backups - InTallaght - September 24th, 2021
- WhatsApp boosts end-to-end encryption - BusinessTech - September 17th, 2021
- WhatsApp to offer encryption on cloud backups: Heres all you need to know - India Today - September 17th, 2021
- London's Top Cop Says 'Big Tech,' Encryption Are Letting The Terrorists Win - Techdirt - September 17th, 2021
- Zoom unveils new security features including end-to-end encryption for Zoom Phone, verified identities and... - ZDNet - September 15th, 2021
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- Light Start: WhatsApp rolls out backup encryption, LG is more attractive, Google goes dark and iPhones only laak gud vaabs Stuff - Stuff Magazines - September 15th, 2021
- Revenant REvil. WhatsApp offers encryption. Hortum spyware in Turkey. Update on the UN data breach. Healthcare breaches disclosed. - The CyberWire - September 15th, 2021
- How a glitch in the Matrix led to apps potentially exposing encrypted chats - The Register - September 15th, 2021
- Secure cloud storage: which are the most secure providers? - ITProPortal - September 15th, 2021
- WhatsApp is finally allowing users to encrypt chat backups uploaded to iCloud and Google Drive - Buzz.ie - September 15th, 2021
- WhatsApp is adding encrypted backups - The Verge - September 11th, 2021
- What Is Fully Homomorphic Encryption (FHE)? - CIO Insight - September 11th, 2021
- WhatsApp end-to-end encrypted messages arent that private after all - Ars Technica - September 11th, 2021
- UK government backs Apple, and wants to scan encrypted messages for CSAM - 9to5Mac - September 11th, 2021
- VPN and Email Encryption Provider, WiTopia, Inc., Is Now Raising Capital Via StartEngine - PRNewswire - September 11th, 2021
- Future in the cloud for encryption - Capacity Media - September 8th, 2021
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- Debunking Wi-Fi Security Myths: Wi-Fi Encryption Is Weak - TechSpective - September 8th, 2021
- WhatsApp Flaw Casts Doubt on End-to-End Encryption - Security Boulevard - September 8th, 2021
- Bluefin Receives U.S. Patent on Systems for Vaultless Tokenization and Encryption - WFMZ Allentown - September 8th, 2021
- Priti Patel backs ad campaign that criticises Facebook's stance on end-to-end encryption - Graham Cluley Security News - September 8th, 2021
- EXCLUSIVE: What's in the new zero-trust strategy - Politico - September 8th, 2021
- 3 ways to protect yourself from cyberattacks in the midst of an IT security skill shortage - Help Net Security - September 8th, 2021
- Apple Has Betrayed Its Privacy Legacy and Will Undermine End-to-end Encryption Everywhere - Privacy News Online - September 8th, 2021
- IBM's first 7nm Power10 chip arrives in E1080 server system with a wealth of shiny features - The Register - September 8th, 2021
- The adoption of multi-cloud drives the need for better data protection and management of encryption keys an... - Security Boulevard - August 26th, 2021
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- Why you should encrypt your data on your computer and how to do it - The Star Online - August 26th, 2021
- Video end-to-end encryption on Ring to be available worldwide - ITP.net - August 26th, 2021
- What is a Vocoder? How an audio encryption device used in WW2 became the sound of electro and modern pop - Mixdown - August 26th, 2021
- Privacera partners with StreamSets to strengthen data security for ETL processing in the cloud - Help Net Security - August 26th, 2021
- R400m cocaine-in-a-boat accused used encryption app to communicate - TimesLIVE - August 26th, 2021
- Evervaults encryption as a service is now open access - TechCrunch - August 24th, 2021
- How to Encrypt Your Own Windows and Mac Devices (and Why You Need To) - Lifehacker - August 24th, 2021
- Why encryption is the key to digital fitness, according to Thales - iTnews - August 24th, 2021
- How to check each of your WhatsApp chats are ACTUALLY private right now and not being intercepted by h... - The Sun - August 24th, 2021
- Staggering 400% rise in child sexual abuse images detected by Facebook as fears over encryption plans g... - The Sun - August 24th, 2021
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- WhatsApp could soon have an iPad app for the first time - Engadget - August 24th, 2021
- Facebook is bringing end-to-end encryption to Messenger calls and Instagram DMs - TechCrunch - August 14th, 2021
- Apple opens the encryption Pandora's box - Axios - August 14th, 2021
- How to encrypt your computer (and why you should) - Mashable - August 14th, 2021