Saturday, 01 December 2018 05:49

AWS ready for court over encryption


AWS chief information security officer Steve Schmidt says the company is prepared to take the Australian Government to court if the proposed encryption legislation requires it to build backdoors.

He told journalists at this week's AWS re:Invent conference that the best way to protect data from state access was to encrypt it with keys that stay under the user's control.

Schmidt expressed hope that the proposed Australian legislation reflects a desire to not do anything that would harm security.

"It is possible to do the right thing at the right time," he said, but it is a bad idea to deliberately introduce vulnerabilities into a system as "that will put us all at risk".

While AWS encrypts data at rest and in motion, it has to be decrypted for processing. One concern is that the government might seek access to data at that point.

In that case, AWS would take them to court, he said, arguing that the potential harm resulting from bad actors taking advantage of the vulnerability would outweigh any benefit of access by government.

Schmidt also pointed out that AWS is contractually obliged to alert customers to such activity. However, legislation can be written to prohibit such disclosures.

iTWire is providing extensive coverage of the progress of the encryption bill.

Disclosure: The writer attended AWS re:Invent as a guest of the company.


26-27 February 2020 | Hilton Brisbane

Connecting the region’s leading data analytics professionals to drive and inspire your future strategy

Leading the data analytics division has never been easy, but now the challenge is on to remain ahead of the competition and reap the massive rewards as a strategic executive.

Do you want to leverage data governance as an enabler?Are you working at driving AI/ML implementation?

Want to stay abreast of data privacy and AI ethics requirements? Are you working hard to push predictive analytics to the limits?

With so much to keep on top of in such a rapidly changing technology space, collaboration is key to success. You don't need to struggle alone, network and share your struggles as well as your tips for success at CDAO Brisbane.

Discover how your peers have tackled the very same issues you face daily. Network with over 140 of your peers and hear from the leading professionals in your industry. Leverage this community of data and analytics enthusiasts to advance your strategy to the next level.

Download the Agenda to find out more


Stephen Withers

joomla visitors

Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences and a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies.



Recent Comments