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Encrypt away

Oct 11, 2015

With mandatory data retention only days away in Australia, it's time to encrypt all the things.

What is mandatory data retention? Think of it as parliamentary supported mass surveillance and you've just about summarised it. Why parliamentary? Seems Australia's two major political forces, the Liberal National Coalition, and the Labor Party, both feel in the interest of "keeping Australian's safe" it is necessary for Internet Provides and Telecommunication companies to keep stored, on file, two years of your digital life.

Notwithstanding of course that such an approach has been condemned as next to useless in other countries, and illegal in others, Australia's parliament decided in the absence of evidence supporting the case it is better just to spy on everybody just in case.

Now, there are ways and means to partially mitigate this invasion of privacy, and encryption is one way you can. This doesn't necessarily stop a State agent from seeing your stuff, but it makes it harder for them. I've just finished configuring ExpressVPN on my two mobile devices (Apple iPhone6, and Microsoft Surface Pro). I've already implemented Signal on the iPhone for Secure messaging, and I'm in the process of implementing encrypted email (I'll post again once done).

This won't stop the government knowing where I travel, as I keep my phone on me all the time and the telecommunication provider already knows where I move by cell tower. But, what this will do is make it harder for a person with access to the meta data now needing to be kept harder to read as it will be encrypted.

Some argue if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to worry about. That argument suggests there is no implicit right to privacy. I'm more than happy to cough up evidence if requested, however, I am not interested in having my meta data being available for an idle browse by a bureaucrat without a warrant.

Tags: TL;DR
Category: Stuff

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