The decryption bill in the Australian parliament could allow the government to order manufacturers of smart home speakers to integrate eavesdropping capabilities on a person’s home to purportedly monitor health data of customers that is linked to drug abuse. The government can also require development of a tool that can unlock a specific user’s device regardless of whether the tool can unlock other devices.
In a parliamentary submission, Apple said that the bill is tantamount to spying on customers. Should the bill pass the Australian parliament, the government may require providers to intercept real time messages or audio and video calls made through the internet. These capabilities could be very alarming for providers as well as Australian users.
Apple has warned the Australian government that devices and services are not gateways for personal data that can be used for law enforcement investigations. The decryption law could also weaken security and make the jobs of criminals easier. There is a very likely chance for the vulnerability to be spotted and exploited by hackers.
Devices usually contain personal emails, health information and photographs. There are also links to corporations, infrastructures and critical areas that can be accessed by hacking on a smartphone. Important infrastructures like power grids and transportation hubs will become vulnerable when the smartphone is hacked. Considering these threats, it is certainly not the right time to weaken encryption.
Critics of the decryption bill are wary of the number of requests and notices that low enforcement agencies can hurl on communications providers. According to Apple, they have cooperated with Australian government when they requested information for the investigation, prevention and early solution of crimes. Even without the decryption law, Apple has processed more than 26,000 requests from law enforcement agencies. Apple can provide information for law enforcement that is consistent with their legal guidelines.
Meanwhile, people also need to prioritize security in their homes. By installing security screens in Perth, households will have the peace of mind that their homes are protected from criminals. The security screens will eliminate any existing vulnerabilities on the doors which are always the point of access used by unwanted intruders.