Security Market Segment LS
Wednesday, 15 August 2018 01:54

Australia's decryption delves into the 'Dangers of Backdoor'


NordVPN is warning Australians about the dangers of Australia's Federal Government releasing "a legislative proposal to give law enforcement agencies new rights to access personal user communications and data".

When NordVPN sends out its media releases, they always serve two functions: reminding people that NordVPN exists and is a great VPN option, and also to highlight a genuine security and/or privacy concern that can affect everyday people.

Given that NordVPN actually delivers useful content and commentary intermixed with its obvious attempt at free publicity, I'm content enough to reprint NordVPN's content, so here's what the company has to say about this new legislative proposal.

The company states: "If the proposal gets approved, it would undermine encryption and force everyone who uses the Internet to cooperate with the government demands. The government, led by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, has been trying to pass the controversial bill for at least a year.

"As Australians feel the threat to their privacy, tech experts expect them to start using VPNs at a higher rate. Australian citizens turned to VPNs after the country’s government passed the mandatory data retention law in 2015, with NordVPN gaining 200% more purchases from Down Under. However, the new law might also aim to ban VPNs – a practice similar to that of China."

It's at this point that we hear from a regular contributor to NordVPN's commentary, being Marty P. Kamden, the company's chief marketing officer, who said: "Encryption is vital for online security.

“In order to be safe on wireless networks, people need to use encryption services, such as VPNs. Encrypted communication apps, such as Telegram, are important for private conversations.

"Since many businesses have moved online now, the significance of Internet privacy and security has increased, and people should be allowed to use encryption.

“Opening a backdoor for the government means opening it for other entities capable of exploiting the access as well. It lead to a flood of hacks, stolen information and other forms of abuse.

"This could jeopardise the privacy of all players involved – individuals, companies, and their clients,” continued Kamden.

Now, for those who might need a refresher on what a VPN or virtual private network actually does, the company reminds us that "a VPN encrypts internet users’ data and routes it through a secure tunnel before accessing the Internet".

"The only information visible to a third party (such as a government agency) is that a user is connected to a VPN server – nothing else."

So, whether you use NordVPN's VPN software on your PC, Mac, iPhone, Android, iPad or Android tablet, or choose to use someone else's, the advice given and concerns expressed are sound, and I guess we can at least be happy that our current hapless Federal Government hasn't resurrected the previous government's idea of an Internet filter again, too.

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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