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Australian parliament passes further wiretapping legislation

By SweenyTod in News
Tue Jun 20, 2000 at 08:52:54 AM EST
Tags: Politics (all tags)

The Australian government passed a law today, allowing our Security organisation, ASIO (an organisation who's previous claim to fame was a successful commando sledgehammer raid on a vicious hotel door), to hack into computers they think might have information information relevant to national security. They're allowed to enter, modify, delete or copy data. This includes disabling any crypto you may have running, in order to make it easier for them to get future data.

A write up is found here at yahoo.


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Australian parliament passes further wiretapping legislation | 32 comments (13 topical, 19 editorial, 0 hidden)
Freakin' cool! (none / 0) (#3)
by Marcin on Tue Jun 20, 2000 at 12:32:18 AM EST

This is freakin' cool, I wanna go work for 4510 (heHE) as a cracker! I wonder if you can get a job by placing your resume on the Chief of ASIO's desktop (as in computer desktop).

Then again this is bad because they can hax0r my machine legally since I live in Australia. Time to install tripwire and portsentry. Or move overseas.

Re: Freakin' cool! (none / 0) (#10)
by Inoshiro on Tue Jun 20, 2000 at 01:28:11 AM EST

Uhm, I'd hope you'd have your box secured on principle :-).. But at least you can use my security features to help you.

[ イノシロ ]
[ Parent ]
Re: Freakin' cool! (none / 0) (#15)
by Marcin on Tue Jun 20, 2000 at 02:27:30 AM EST

Uhm, I'd hope you'd have your box secured on principle :-).. But at least you can use my security features to help you.

Well, i've got it secured, just not to the point of running tripwire and portsentry. I'm on a 56k dialup with a dynamic IP, hardly an interesting target. I'm running OpenBSD on the gateway, everything is off except for ssh from the dialup side, and i've got ipf setup to log connection attempts on other interesting ports like telnet, smtp, etc. I think that's adequate for my situation, if I was on a cable modem or similar i'd go the whole hog. I suppose installing tripwire wouldn't hurt though. :)
[ Parent ]

Re: Freakin' cool! (none / 0) (#23)
by Toojays on Tue Jun 20, 2000 at 04:07:48 AM EST

But if ASIO want to know what you're up to that stuff won't really help because the law allows them to break into your place and do whatever they need to do to get the data they want, and then cover their tracks. This is what prompted 2600 Australia to write their article on securing the console.

[ Parent ]
Re: Freakin' cool! (none / 0) (#26)
by VSc on Tue Jun 20, 2000 at 09:20:22 AM EST

Unless you are using encrypted filesystem, that is. But, oh, well, those are only availble for W------, which kindof defeats the purpose altogether. Hmm. Can I sense weirdness here?
"All's fair in love and networking" --BOFH
[ Parent ]
Re: Freakin' cool! (none / 0) (#28)
by Anonymous Hero on Tue Jun 20, 2000 at 04:32:43 PM EST

I'm using an encrypted filesystem on Linux right now (kerneli.org). CFS/TCFS are also available for Linux and BSD.

[ Parent ]
Re: Freakin' cool! (none / 0) (#27)
by slycer on Tue Jun 20, 2000 at 12:05:53 PM EST

But, the write up on yahoo (link in story) specifically states:

An access warrant permits ASIO to use computers, phone companies and telecommunications equipment to gain access to a remote or networked computer. Once in, the ASIO hackers are allowed to copy, add, delete or alter any data in the target computer that is relevant to the security matter.

I don't see where the law permits breaking into your home. Unless this was an amendment to something already there?

[ Parent ]
Hmmmm... (none / 0) (#12)
by adamsc on Tue Jun 20, 2000 at 02:00:00 AM EST

I predict OpenBSD usage will start climbing. This might even encourage other vendors to place security higher on the list. Even the completely legal are likely to be less than enthused about the possibility of some government agent cracking their box, very possibly because of mistaken identify (shades of Brazil).

The Cops can MODIFY... Very Dangerous (none / 0) (#18)
by iCEBaLM on Tue Jun 20, 2000 at 02:41:54 AM EST

Wow, this is a very dangerous law. The cops can legally modify data on any australians computer, you know what that means? They can legally plant evidence and frame you. Charming, isn't it?

-- iCEBaLM

The Walsh Report introduced this (2.00 / 1) (#29)
by Anonymous Hero on Tue Jun 20, 2000 at 07:04:01 PM EST

see the Walsh Report for some more background on this:

In February 1997, the Australian Attorney-General's Department put a hold on the public release of the Walsh Report, an important review of Australian cryptography policy.

The report, entitled Review of policy relating to encryption technologies, is the outcome of a study conducted in 1996 by Gerard Walsh, a former deputy director-general of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO). Publication of the report was eagerly awaited by members of the law enforcement community, other government departments, commerce, and the online community. It was expected that the report would examine the the various issues in the crypotography debate and encourage further comment and consultation.


However, in December 1998, the missing sections were obtained. The originally deleted paragraphs have been highlighted in red.

So what's new? (none / 0) (#30)
by Mad Matt on Thu Jun 22, 2000 at 08:10:47 AM EST

I don't like this any more then the next Aussie, but it seems to me a case of the status quo being legitimised. I mean seriously folks - cops can and do do anything they want ... fortunately most are decent-enough people (you know ... human beings like you an me.)

All that this legislation means is that ASIO is no longer maintaining a facade regarding what it does ...

Mad Matt
A social life?
Where can I download that from?

You know what's coming... (none / 0) (#31)
by Stormbringer on Thu Jun 22, 2000 at 11:43:17 PM EST

You'll eventually have to get a license for every computer you own, so they can track them to make sure they cover them all. At what point will building an unlicensed computer become a felony?

I hope you all get to see this... :( (none / 0) (#32)
by Anonymous Hero on Fri Jun 23, 2000 at 08:07:23 AM EST

This along with the other shitty laws that our narrow minded conservitive government have passed cause me to not need any laxatives. This legalisation of invasion of my privacy (if they think they can do it) annoys me, and if they cant get to me they can decalre what i view & or distribute "offensive" and therefore illegal (under an earlier net-censorship law). -One freaked out, pissed off Aussie!

Australian parliament passes further wiretapping legislation | 32 comments (13 topical, 19 editorial, 0 hidden)
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