Sort of yes and mostly no

Five Eyes

The 5 eyes system dragnets all communications on the internet, in addition to relationships with tech companies to access data via the prism program.

This is done by by the top level of state spy agencies. These agencies are not linked to what we know as law enforcement. For example, they are not using this systems for what we expect law enforcement to be doing such as using this infrastructure for child sex protection. When have you ever heard of a child exploitation case being assisted by the 5-eyes system?

So private spys, federal and local police and do not have all your data.

  • The 5 eyes program is illegal and the state turns a blind eye. So the people in control of 5-eyes do not want to share their resources and power, for fear of loosing it.
  • Additionally there are turf wars,  politics and mistrust within the system. Christopher John Boyce testified in court that his motivation for espionage was how the US was treating Australia by not sharing data.
  • Encryption works against the 5-eyes. We know this, as well as other info thanks to Edward Snowden and the  FBI vs apple case
  • For more info on 5-eyes, check out felicityruby.com

In-Q-Tel

Setup by the CIA, this  venture capital firm based in Arlington, Virginia. It invests in high-tech companies for the sole purpose of keeping the Central Intelligence Agency, and other intelligence agencies, equipped with the latest in information technology in support of United States intelligence capability. Source.

They have an Australian office.

Aus Data retention Laws

Under the scheme, telecommunications companies such as Telstra, Optus, or NBN Co are required to retain information such as time of call, location data, and other so-called metadata for two years for law enforcement to access without a warrant for investigating a range of criminal activity or for missing person cases. source

This is easily overcome with a VPN and not using traditional telecommunications such as SMS and phone.

New anti-encryption laws

Under Australia’s legislation, police can force companies to create a technical function that would give them access to encrypted messages without the user’s knowledge. Law offers a safeguard which says decryptions won’t go ahead if they create a “systemic weakness”. source

  • This is mathematically impossible. Encryption is either secure or not. These laws were created by a PM who said “Laws of mathematics don’t apply here” source
  • These laws are a game of power – The tech industry vs the state. The tech industry is powerful so this will not be easy to enforce politically or economically.
  • My opinion is that they will target device operating systems through targeted OS updates. This was done at the standing rock protests as well as other dodgy stuff. This approach will not work in a mass surveillance context.
  • We are waiting for leaks to see how the government is attempting to implement these laws.

Last updated: July 4th, 2020

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