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Encryption keeps everyone safe: Greens

Media Release
Scott Ludlam 18 Feb 2016

Encryption technology is used by millions of people every day to manage financial transactions, to protect against identity theft and to keep their medical and other personal information safe, and developers of the technology should not be bullied by governments into making those protections weaker, the Australian Greens said today.

"The US FBI's demand that Apple build a 'back door' into the iPhone is extraordinarily reckless. There are millions of iOS devices in use in Australia. This proposal would put every single one of those users at risk of identity theft," Australian Greens Communications spokesperson Senator Scott Ludlam said today.

"The Attorney-General's department recently estimated that identity theft costs Australia $1.6 billion every year, and that number is growing. Forcing providers to weaken encryption is effectively an identity theft stimulus package.

"We're already enduring the expensive, intrusive and ineffective metadata retention scheme in the name of the 'war on terror'. Using the tragedies of terror attacks for a blatant power grab is an absolute disgrace, and it will have no tangible impact, and huge consequences.

"We strongly urge Attorney-General George Brandis to help keep millions of Australian smartphone users safe, and write to his US counterparts to urge them to reconsider the request to break a technology we all depend on," Senator Ludlam said.

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