Thursday, 06 December 2018 19:43

Politics rules as encryption bill becomes law with no amendments Featured

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Politics rules as encryption bill becomes law with no amendments Pixabay

The Federal Government's controversial encryption bill has been passed by Parliament without any amendments due to there being a lack of time for Labor to add any amendments in the Senate.

Labor leader Bill Shorten agreed to this compromise. on the proviso that the amendments would be passed during the first sitting of 2019.

The lack of time came about because the government delayed voting on another bill in the Senate – a cross-party push to amend existing legislation on moving refugees from Manus Island and Nauru to the mainland. This delay was in order to prevent it going back to the lower house for a vote.

The recommendations made by the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security resulted in some 50 pages of amendments.

Among the amendments suggested were definitions for the terms systemic vulnerability and systemic weakness, over which there has been much talk among politicians.

These were defined as under:

"systemic vulnerability means a vulnerability that affects a whole class of technology, but does not include a vulnerability that is selectively introduced to one or more target technologies that are connected with a particular person."

"systemic weakness means a weakness that affects a whole class of technology, but does not include a weakness that is selectively introduced to one or more target technologies that are connected with a particular person."

For both, the amendments said that it was immaterial whether the person could be identified.

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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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