back to article Australia tries to ban crypto research – by ACCIDENT

While the world is laughing at UK PM David Cameron for his pledge to ban encryption, Australia is on the way to implementing legislation that could feasibly have a similar effect. Moreover, the little-debated Defence Trade Control Act (DTCA) is already law - it's just that the criminal sanctions it imposes for sending …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    if you must clench...

    Don't clench too hard. We need to look up your arse to see the kinda shit you're into.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Good I say.

    The only way forward is to have enough really stupid laws in the hope that some balance and common sense can be introduced.

    Of course this means it has to get worse before it gets better, but if it gets worse slowly the frogs in the pot might not notice. Let it get a lot worse a lot quicker, it's the only hope we have. And it's getting worse anyway, so I still vote for quicker.

    As an aside, I think the terrorists can probably go and have a beer and put their feet up, their work is pretty much complete. They don't need to finish the job, our glorious leaders will do that for them.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Good I say.

      Except the government gets to pick who they enforce them against.

      Have a law against wearing socks in public, everyone ignores it - until you want to arrest somebody.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Good I say.

        I disagree Keef. Your theory assumes that common sense will prevail...a brief glimpse at history should tell you that there is no upper limit to stupid until we're all dead.

        1. Anonymous Coward

          Re: Good I say.

          I take your point moiety, but at what point in history did we all die out?

          1. LaeMing

            Re: Good I say.

            @Keef - we haven't finished bein stupid yet! QED.

      2. Solmyr ibn Wali Barad

        Re: Good I say.

        "Have a law against wearing socks in public, everyone ignores it - until you want to arrest somebody."

        Thus ended the Republic of Rome. Too many conflicting laws. Some of them outright silly. People were not bothering to follow the law, as it had become pretty much impossible to follow them all. And political elite did not bother to clean them up. Murky situation was quite beneficial - whenever there was a need to get rid of the troublesome opponent, it was easy to find a law or two that he had heinously violated at some point. Ate chicken on Thursday, wore sandals with or without socks, anything'll do.

        Sounds familiar, doesn't it. It bloody well should.

        There's a lot of gnailing and washing of teeth, a lot of yearning for somebody to come, somebody who could put an end to this horrible mess. O Caesar, where art thou?

        /edit: I have seen way too many caesars in my time, so I definitely would want any future ones to stay under their rocks for the eternity, thankyouverymuch/

    2. tony2heads

      Re: Good I say.

      Common sense may never prevail.

      Like Einstein said: "Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former."

    3. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge

      Possible solution from a place which is not Australia, but very, ... well, Australian

      They really should go for the Ecksian solution: put anybody who becomes PM in jail instantly (saves time, after all). Could be extended to any political office.

      1. Joseph Eoff

        Re: Possible solution from a place which is not Australia, but very, ... well, Australian

        I'll have to find it again. There was a story I read long ago that mentioned a place where any one who was voted out of office was immediately arrested and jailed for corruption in office, with the justification being that you could only have gotten into office in the first place by being corrupt.

    4. Roger Kynaston

      Re: Good I say.

      I had to read this twice before I realised you weren't making some obscure reference to Charlie Hebdo with your frogs in pots.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother

    henceforth to be kmows as...

    ...the marmite law... youll either love it or hate it!

    1. JassMan

      re: henceforth to be kmows as...

      Vegemite surely - they don't have marmite down under.

      Have the Aussies managed to introduce any new laws in the last 5 years which are fit for purpose? It seems that every month there is some new law put on the statute books which may or may not have good intentions but seems to only fix half a problem.

      1. veti Silver badge

        Re: re: henceforth to be kmows as...

        I regret to inform you, they do have stuff they call "Marmite". It's a hideous abomination in the sight of any sensible interpretation of the Lord. Basically, imagine real Marmite with a generous spoonful of sugar stirred into every jar. Blech.

        Imagine my joy when, recently, I found another product in the supermarket, in a proper Marmite-shaped jar, sold under the name of "Our Mate". And it's, approximately at least, the real thing!

        If only we could get some decent British beer.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          decent British beer.

          surely you jest!

          1. dan1980

            Re: decent British beer.

            One can pickup a few Shepherd Neame's around the place. Which is decent if you're a loyal Kent.

            1. Kevin Johnston

              Re: decent British beer.

              Would that be a Man of Kent or a Kentish Man?

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: re: henceforth to be kmows as...

          I take great delight in serving certain visitors marmite - never fails to get a cob going. Anon in case an Ozzie Jehadi decides to come after me

          1. Message From A Self-Destructing Turnip

            Re: re: you're a loyal Kent

            I think you will find with a strong Ozzie accent this means something else entirely.

      2. dan1980

        Re: re: henceforth to be kmows as...


        What are these half-problems being fixed? If, indeed, any problems are being half-fixed by a law, you can be sure it will create a much bigger or more pernicious problem in the process.

        The only problem our politicians are ever trying to fix is the one the one where their image is utter mud and the government chosen is whichever of the two major parties is the less unelectable.

        All they want is to be seen as less incompetent than their opposition. Abbott did this very well last time around. Where he had failed before was in actually talking up the Coalition policies and points of view, which the electorate rejected. This time, with Labor imploding, he simply needed to more-or-less keep quiet and maintain some measure of solidarity in the party. This is why there were no tilts for leadership despite the many rumbles - they realised that all they needed was to be more-or-less not seen to be tearing themselves apart with petty bickering and backstabbing.

        That's not against the Coalition or for Labor - it's just a great example of how the aim is simply to be the slightly lesser of two evils. (And this was Labor's work.)

  4. AJames

    Necessary sacrifices

    We must all be prepared to make personal sacrifices in the name of security for all, especially in view of <most recent public outrage>. If you are not in favour of <draconian human-rights-trampling security measure>, then you stand with the <terrorists/child molesters/witches/infidels/blasphemers/devil-worshipers>.

    1. Adam 1

      Re: Necessary sacrifices

      I, for one, welcome our new <noun> <adverb> overlords.

      1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Re: Necessary sacrifices

        I, for one, welcome our new <noun> <adverb> overlords.

        <adverb> is wrong; there's no verb or adjective in that phrase for it to modify. In the most plausible1 construction you'd have a gerund in that place, forming with the preceding noun an adjectival noun phrase modifying "overlords".

        (To the casual observer, it might appear that the second word is a present participle and not a gerund, because gerunds act as nouns while participles can act as adjectives. But no! The adjectival role is fulfilled by the two-word noun phrase in toto, and its individual components are simply nouns. Contrast "running-dog lackeys", where "running" is a participle, indicating that the lackeys are dogs that run, versus "dog-running lackeys", where "running" is a gerund and the lackeys either exercise or smuggle dogs - it is not clear from context.)

        HTH. HAND.

        1But not in the original, which was simply "welcome our new insect overlords", where "insect" is simply the noun form being used as an adjective.

  5. LaeMing

    The Australian fereral governments (plural - they are all indistinguishable)

    don't have much time for academia anyway. They'd love to shut the whole lot down (baring the private University of Mutual Backscratchers exclusively for the kids of the ruling elite) and shut up all the banging on about peer-reviewed this and demonstrated that that intefer with the party line of the week.

    1. Paul J Turner

      Re: The Australian fereral governments (plural - they are all indistinguishable)

      'feral' - tfify

      1. LaeMing

        Re: The Australian fereral governments (plural - they are all indistinguishable)

        From this day forth, they will be known as the Austrailian Feral Government.

        If the boot fits....

  6. Mark 85

    Interesting list for privacy advocates and others.

    If we see what's banned then we know that the 5-eyes can't break it. They just did every privacy advocate, paranoid, and terrorist a favor. But of course, it's a law and as we know, everyone follows all the laws.

    1. Yes Me Silver badge

      ...everyone follows all the laws

      The problem is that publishing a paper about 513 bit crypto would be a rather public breaking of the law and a crime difficult to conceal. But hey, they voted for an idiot prime minister, and that's what they got (like Blighty and Kiwiland, of course).

      1. Craig Foster

        Re: ...everyone follows all the laws

        This was a law Labor passed.

        The only difference is the Liberals can only get this type of half-arsed law passed by signing up to secret treaties.

      2. Fluffy Bunny

        Re: ...everyone follows all the laws

        "But hey, they voted for an idiot prime minister,"

        I was going to say, "but the idiot was the previous guy (twice)", but then I saw that it was in fact brought in under Labor, so you were right.

        1. dan1980

          Re: ...everyone follows all the laws

          They are both as bad as the other but their problem is not stupidity but an inherent self-serving nature that ensures that the only thing about the public they consider is who they'll vote for next time around. (They rarely think much further.)

          Labor pushed through this agreement without due consideration for how it would affect the citizens of this country and the Coalition is pushing through the TPP (behind closed doors), without due consideration or concern for how it will affect the citizens (see the numerous concerns about copyright law and increases in costs for Australians). Before them both was the AUSFTA, signed under Howard, the result of which was an INCREASE in the trade imbalance between the US and Australia and no real benefit for Australia.

          It doesn't matter who is in government.

      3. Adrian 4

        Re: ...everyone follows all the laws

        The political establishment is ensuring only idiots get to be PM by alllowing only idiots to stand. We're stuck with them until we get a 'none of the above' vote.

        1. LaeMing

          Re: ...everyone follows all the laws

          Rather telling would be a box you could tick that was essentially "I only voted for this candidate because I had to vote for someone" which gets tallied and displayed along with the vote count.

          1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

            Re: ...everyone follows all the laws

            Even better would be a system whereby an MP's vote in the legislature was weighted according to the number of people who voted for them relative to the total turnout. Voting for none of the above would then weaken whoever won. Not turning up, however, would achieve nothing.

            Weighting MP's vote would of course require rather more hi-tech than the UK Parliament uses in votes, but most other legislatures seem to have electronic tallying these days.

  7. veti Silver badge

    "Legal exemptions for academics" are a stupid and corrupt idea. Basically, it means the government gets to license favoured people to break the rules it applies to everyone else. Hell, look at the countries that've implemented them...

    So if I send an email talking about encryption to my friend in, say, Italy, I can be arrested for it, but if Dr Dingobum at the University of Norralorraklue sends the exact same mail to the same person, he's golden? Makes no sense no matter which way you think about it. It's just a way for the government to buy votes by granting special (withdrawable) privileges to a class of people that it gets to define.

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Science now run by wombats

      > It's just a way for the government to buy votes

      Most people are too arsetarded to even know what this is about and would like to watch TV unmolested, whose vote are they buying?

      1. LaeMing

        Re: Science now run by wombats

        Yes, I doubt 'Kingmaker' Murdoch cares too much about academic exceptions. Quite the contrary, I would think!

  8. Winkypop Silver badge

    Censor yourself now!

    Avoid the rush.

  9. Ken Hagan Gold badge

    Are you French or something?

    " the little-debated Defence Trade Control Act (DCTA) "

    Was it so little debated that no-one noticed the acronym was wrong way round?

  10. Wombling_Free

    Usual Guvmint idiocy

    I mean, why not just put "kick us, we are idiots" on our flag?

    How are we meant to write the world's malware if we can't use encryption?

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