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Tim Watts MP @TimWattsMP
, 20 tweets, 5 min read Read on Twitter
I’ve refrained from commenting too much on the Government’s encryption proposals while the PJCIS did its work. But now that Scott Morrison and Peter Dutton have blown up the committee’s work on this Bill, it’s time for a 'thread'...
The Turnbull/Morrison government have managed this encryption bill with the same ineptitude that they managed their leadership spills. And now that they face a political crisis in the wake of the Victorian election catastrophe, they are piling desperation on top of incompetence.
The Morrison Government now claims that this bill must be passed before Christmas or, as Angus Taylor extraordinarily said this morning, we’ll be left "without any prospect of prosecution" of terrorists.
Well the Turnbull/Morrison government said they’d be acting on encryption six months before LAST CHRISTMAS, in June 2017…
Malcolm Turnbull’s infamous press conference in which he claimed that the laws of maths would yield to the laws of Australia was held in July 2017 – nearly 18 months ago.…
At this time, the government publicly stated that these laws would be introduced for debate and PJCIS scrutiny in “the first quarter of 2018”…

It didn’t produce draft legislation until the end of August 2018.
So if Australia’s ability to break up and prosecute terrorist plots rests on this legislation, the Government has been asleep at the wheel on an issue of critical national security for over a year.
This is ridiculous hyperbole of course. There have been 11 foiled plots in Australia proven in court since 2014 without these laws.
And if the government is serious about doing everything it can to ensure law enforcement access to data held by Silicon Valley firms why is it MIA on a Bilateral agreement with the US on MLAT reform?…
The absurdity of the government’s politically driven Christmas deadline is further belied by the Bill's mandated 28 day consultation period for the issuance of Technical Capability Notices (s117W)…
(my kids will readily tell you, it’s already less than 28 days until Christmas.)
You might hope that the govt took 18 months to introduce this legislation because they were doing their homework, consulting widely to get it right.

Sadly, not.
A wide range of academics, NGOs, defense contractors, international technical standards bodies and tech companies have all raised legitimate issues that deserve serious attention.

Even the President of the Senate has flagged concerns:…
Worst of all - the government's politically driven desperation on this bill may actually DAMAGE Australia's national security.
As the Chair of Australian security vendor Senetas Francis Galbally told PJCIS on Friday, the Bill ‘compromises the security of citizens, businesses and governments. It will be easier for cyber criminals, terrorists, to target systems and to be able to break into those systems”.
The importance of protecting end to end encryption for our national security is underlined by the face that GCHQ, British intelligence, drove its invention – in order to protect communications between intelligence officers and members of the UK Govt:
Parliament has been debating foreign interference laws recently – breaking encryption in a way that even inadvertently allows foreign adversaries to read Ministers’ and MPs communications would not be in the national interest.
Coalition MPs understand the importance of secure communications themselves – Malcolm Turnbull used the end to end encrypted app, Wickr to coordinate his leadership challenge against Tony Abbott…
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