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Australia to Push for Greater Powers on Encrypted Messaging at ‘Five eyes’ Meeting

Australia is set to push for greater international powers to thwart the use of encrypted messaging services by terrorists and criminals, according to reports on Sunday (via Reuters).

The topic will be addressed this week at a meeting of officials from the "Five Eyes" intelligence sharing network, which includes the U.S., the U.K, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.

Australia claimed the increasing use of strong encryption on smartphones and other devices was hindering law enforcement's capacity to gather and act on intelligence, and said it wants tech companies to do much more to give intelligence and law enforcement agencies access to encrypted communications.

Security experts and privacy groups regularly argue that any such methods would simply weaken overall security for everyone.
"I will raise the need to address ongoing challenges posed by terrorists and criminals using encryption," Australian Attorney General Senator Brandis said in a joint statement.

"These discussions will focus on the need to cooperate with service providers to ensure reasonable assistance is provided to law enforcement and security agencies."
The announcement followed the U.K. government's recent statement of intent to pressure technology companies to do more to put an end to the "safe spaces" that the internet offers extremists. The country has also called for measures to "regulate cyberspace", following terror attacks in the country.

In related news, a leaked draft technical paper prepared by the U.K. government states that technology companies would be required to remove encryption from private communications and provide the raw data "in an intelligible form" without "electronic protection". However, it's not clear if the Conservatives still intend to pursue these powers after recent elections left the party with a minority government and a diminished mandate.

Last year Apple refused requests from the FBI to break the security of its mobile software, following the recovery of an iPhone used by the San Bernardino shooter. Apple argued the FBI's request would set a "dangerous precedent" with serious implications for the future of smartphone encryption. The dispute ended after the government found an alternate way to access the data on the iPhone through the help of professional hackers.

Last week, the European Union published draft proposals that would enforce end-to-end encryption on all digital communications and forbid backdoors that enable law enforcement to access private message data. If ratified, the law would put it at odds with both the U.S. and U.K. intelligence communities.

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.


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Australia advocates weakening strong crypto at upcoming “Five Eyes” meeting

Enlarge / Australia's Attorney General George Brandis (L) speaks at a press conference Australia's Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull looks on in Sydney on December 30, 2015. (credit: Saeed Khan / Getty Images News)

Two top Australian government officials said Sunday that they will push for "thwarting the encryption of terrorist messaging" during an upcoming meeting next week of the so-called "Five Eyes" group of English-speaking nations that routinely share intelligence.

The move indicates that Canberra is now running ahead with what the FBI has dubbed "going dark" for several years now. This is the notion that with the advent of widespread, easy-to-use strong encryption on smartphones and other devices, law enforcement has been hindered. Many experts say, however, that any method that would allow the government access even during certain situations would weaken overall security for everyone.

According to a statement released by Attorney General George Brandis, and Peter Dutton, the country’s top immigration official, Australia will press for new laws, pressure private companies, and urge for a new international data sharing agreement amongst the quintet of countries.

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Look what researchers found in the ocean off Australia

deep-sea creature

Deep-sea researchers working off the coast of Australia continue to find some pretty stunning examples of never-before-seen ocean life. Late last month, the group showed one of their more impressive catches — a "faceless" fish which has a small mouth on the bottom of its body but no facial features of any kind — and the team has caught a number of new oddities since then, including what appears to be a... well, let's just take a look. 

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Notaa Launches In Australia With Homekit Accessories For The iPhone

Notaa is just launching this week in Australia, which is the first HomeKit installer in the country, that will specialize in installation of products that use Apple’s Siri and iPhone-controlled home automation platforms.

The company has selected a number of HomeKit accessories that it will sell on its online store, in addition to booking installation appointments. The products include the Friday Lock door attachment, lighting from Philips and Nanoleaf, switches, sensors and many other HomeKit accessories.

“Book an install by an Apple HomeKit expert and have your products hand delivered to you. Simply tell us where you want them and we will set them up and teach you how to use them. We will also create custom scenes and rules to suit your home.”

The company though is only offering installations in the Sutherland Shire and Sydney Metro areas in Australia and will soon launch in New Zealand by the end of the year. And as far as the pricing goes, it basically all depends on the product you want to install, how long it takes to put it in your home as well as how far you live within Shire or Sydney to give a proper estimate. But probably anywhere from $300-$500 if you want to buy something and get it installed in your house.

But to save you a few dollars, the company is offering 10%-15% discounts on bulk bundles of lights and certain types of electronics for their new launch. So if you’re interested in purchasing some of their stuff while the sale is still going, then you can check out their official website for more details.

Source: 9To5Mac, Notaa


Come comment on this article: Notaa Launches In Australia With Homekit Accessories For The iPhone

Apple Music’s 3 month trial has gone from free to paid in some countries

If you live in Australia, Spain or Switzerland, you can no longer try out Apple Music for three months for free. In those countries, Apple Music’s three-month trial now requires a small payment. In Australia, three months of Apple Music is now AUD 0.99. In Spain, Apple Music trial is now a € 0,99 value and in Switzerland it comes in at SFR 0.99.

The trial was still free in those countries as of May 14, according to The Verge. In an email statement to the publication, Apple said: “Pricing and promotions for Apple Music vary from country to country.”

AppleInsider thinks the move may have something to do with Apple trying to recover some of those costs with paid trial periods.

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In all other countries, Apple Music’s three-month trial remains available at no charge.

Apple Music lunched in 2015 with a fairly generous three-month free trial allowing customers to try the service before paying a monthly subscription.

It’s interesting that rival Spotify also does not offer a free trial in Australia, Spain and Switzerland, charging the same fee for three months of its service in those markets.

On the other hand, Spotify’s trial costs 99 cents elsewhere, too, including in the US and Canada.


"Apple Music’s 3 month trial has gone from free to paid in some countries" is an article by iDownloadBlog.com.
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