Aussie Prime Minister Says The Laws Of Math Don't Apply In Australia When It Comes To Encryption

from the good-luck-with-that,-mate dept

Oh boy. It's no secret that the Australian government -- led by George Brandis (who has made it abundantly clear he has no clue what a VPN is or what metadata is) -- is pushing strongly for mandated backdoors to encryption. At this point, it's beating a dead horse, but this is a very, very bad idea for a whole host of reasons -- mainly having to do with making absolutely everyone significantly less safe.

And it appears that Brandis' ignorance has moved up the chain of command. Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has now put out what may be the single dumbest statement on encryption yet (and that's a pretty high bar). After being told yet again that safe encryption backdoors violate basic mathematics, Turnbull became super patriotic about the ability of Australian law to trump mathematics:

"The laws of Australia prevail in Australia, I can assure you of that," he said on Friday. "The laws of mathematics are very commendable, but the only law that applies in Australia is the law of Australia."

And, then he pulled out the "nerd harder, nerds" argument:

"I'm not a cryptographer, but what we are seeking to do is to secure their assistance," Turnbull said. "They have to face up to their responsibility. They can't just, you know, wash their hands of it and say it's got nothing to do with them."

"I am sure they know morally they should. Morally they should."

So after admitting that he doesn't understand how this works, he's saying that the "moral" responsibility of cryptographers -- who have basically all told him his plan will make people less safe -- is to make people less safe.

Turnbull seems to think he can get around the whole problem by... semantics. You see, if we just redefine things and say we're not asking for "backdoors" then it's fine:

"A back door is typically a flaw in a software program that perhaps the -- you know, the developer of the software program is not aware of and that somebody who knows about it can exploit," he said. "And, you know, if there are flaws in software programs, obviously, that's why you get updates on your phone and your computer all the time."

"So we're not talking about that. We're talking about lawful access."

That bit of word salad suggests that at least a tiny smidgen of actual knowledge made it into his brain. A backdoor is an exploit. But "lawful access" is a backdoor. Pretending they are different suggests a fairly staggering level of ignorance.

Not to be outdone, but Brandis then took his own turn at the podium to spew more ignorance:

Asked how Australia's proposed regime would allow local authorities to read messages sent with either WhatsApp or Signal, Brandis said “Last Wednesday I met with the chief cryptographer at GCHQ ... And he assured me that this was feasible.”

Right. It's pretty well known that intelligence communities can frequently hack into things to get messages, but not because of backdoors to encryption but through other flaws. This includes things like keyloggers or other spyware that effective route around the encryption. But that's entirely different than demanding backdoors. And, of course, this all comes about a week after GCHQ's own former boss argued that attacking the end points was a better strategy than backdoors. It's almost certain that what GCHQ told Brandis is that they can be pretty successful in attacking those endpoints, without undermining encryption -- and that message got twisted in Brandis' mind to believe that it meant that there were already backdoors in Whatsapp and Signal (there are not).

This whole thing is a somewhat tragic comedy of errors with completely clueless politicians making policy badly, potentially putting everyone at risk... while astoundingly claiming that laws can trump basic mathematics. What a joke.


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  • icon
    Mononymous Tim (profile), 14 Jul 2017 @ 10:51am

    "you know"

    No YOU don't.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Jul 2017 @ 10:51am

    "Thats not a backdoor ..."

    THIS is a backdoor!

    (pulls out an actual backdoor)

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Doug (profile), 14 Jul 2017 @ 10:57am

    Laws are so ... flexible

    Next week on "This Australian Life":

    > The laws of Australia prevail in Australia, I can assure you of that,

    And then: "The laws of nature are commendable, but here in Australia we just passed a law that all mammals must, henceforth, follow the Kangaroo's lead and include pouches on all newborn animals. Marsupials drive Australia's tourist economy, and this new measure will promote tourism and lead to rising social welfare across all walks of Australian life, human or otherwise."

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 14 Jul 2017 @ 11:04am

    Something something upside down people with all of that blood rushing to their brains, I expected them to be smarter... I was wrong.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Ninja (profile), 14 Jul 2017 @ 11:05am

    So it Turnedbullshit.

    Seems he skipped elementary school. Mathematic laws aren't optional, you can't decide not to follow them. Even in Soviet Russia mathematics rule you. Of course being a country that tries to kill you at every corner mathematics can be somewhat deadlier there.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Ryunosuke (profile), 14 Jul 2017 @ 11:06am

    I can't even....

    what?!?

    "The laws of Australia prevail in Australia, I can assure you of that," he said on Friday. "The laws of mathematics are very commendable, but the only law that applies in Australia is the law of Australia."

    so apparently the laws of physics don't apply either... no wonder they are upside down and ass backwards. Also must have gone to the US republican school, ie. Trump University.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Jul 2017 @ 11:12am

    Hellow Australia!

    It appears you have a Donald Dumb-ass Trump too!

    Don't feel bad though, there are lots of Trumps in the American political system. You can have a few more of our dumb-asses if you like as well... we have them on tap!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Steve R. (profile), 14 Jul 2017 @ 2:50pm

      Re: Hellow Australia!

      Hillary Clinton, when responding to a question concerning encryption, essentially regurgitated the same theme as currently expressed by George Brandis. Hillary was obviously clueless.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Lawrence D’Oliveiro, 14 Jul 2017 @ 2:55pm

        Re: Hillary Clinton Again, Again

        Why this obsession with Hillary? Haven’t you convinced yourselves yet that she lost the election?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 14 Jul 2017 @ 3:54pm

          Re: Re: Hillary Clinton Again, Again

          Whataboutism

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 15 Jul 2017 @ 6:09am

          Re: Re: Hillary Clinton Again, Again

          Because these idiots still need someone to point the finger at as Trump goes off the rails.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 16 Jul 2017 @ 7:39pm

          Re: Re: Hillary Clinton Again, Again

          Hillary is a murderer bitch. Are going to keep defending her? Fuck Hillary 1000 times.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 17 Jul 2017 @ 2:09am

            Re: Re: Re: Hillary Clinton Again, Again

            Sorry, not even once. With her husband's penchant for extra-marital affairs, you don't know what little surprises she is carrying. Let alone any of her own collisions.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Thad, 14 Jul 2017 @ 3:12pm

        Re: Re: Hellow Australia!

        So have Comey, May, and any number of other political figures. Why bring up Hillary Clinton in particular?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        orbitalinsertion (profile), 14 Jul 2017 @ 4:11pm

        Re: Re: Hellow Australia!

        Very true, but she is old news. Clinton was awful with a lot of things. Or is it you imagine that anyone with the slightest bit of dislike for Trump is a Clinton supporter? (Bcs omg that is so funny.)

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 15 Jul 2017 @ 7:03am

        Re: Re: Hellow Australia!

        Hillary Clinton.. blah blah blah...

        So?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 16 Jul 2017 @ 7:11pm

      Re: Hellow Australia!

      No, we have already had our Donald Trump in the recently deposed Prime Minister Tony Abbott who has become a very toxic termite since being dumped by current Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull 2 years ago, who was deposed as party leader by Tony Abbott whilst in opposition before they took power in 2013. He would tell his audience whatever they wanted to hear then travel elsewhere & tell the next audience what they wanted to hear which was the complete opposite he said the very same morning. It worked well enough to get his right wing Liberal Party into power & they are still there, so "Mission Accomplished".

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Jul 2017 @ 11:13am

    Haven't these people watched Wargames?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Jul 2017 @ 11:20am

    I think you're maybe reading him too literally.

    I think he knows that the outcome he wants is available only through policy (ie laws). The fight is going to be about what the form and content of the policies are. Thinking that we can just plug our ears and pretend to not understand him will make things worse.

    If I were advising the government, I would tell them that rather than asking for somebody else to fix their "problem", they should float their own proposal.

    Probably the least invasive step would be to order Apple and Google to cease operating any secure communication apps unless they are able to provide a plain text copy of the message to the courts when given a lawful order. Let Apple and Google decide if they want to create a master key for everything or generate new keys on the fly or something in between. This would capture a significant percentage of all text messages. The law should expire after some time period so that the costs and effectiveness of any measures could be evaluated and adjustments made.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 14 Jul 2017 @ 11:50am

      Re:

      If you think that lawful orders would be limited to those to.cases that have probable cause, you have been living under a rock, as what they want is access to all communications

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 14 Jul 2017 @ 12:47pm

        Re: Re:

        FWIW, I know any system will be abused. That's why I would insist on an expiration date so that we can evaluate things like that.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 14 Jul 2017 @ 2:31pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          No "sunset" date is immune to extension.

          Passed a certain point, they'll just remove the expiration language from the bill, fixes nor not.

          This isn't about "lawful access" as you define it. (Subject to reasonable doubt / a warrant / whatever standard bar of proof of a crime you come up with.) This is "lawful access" as they define it. E.g. "Papers please!" and "If you have nothing to hide, ..." BS.

          Long story short, governments want access to control their citizens lives like it's an iteration of "The Sims". Technology being so prevalent allows for this, and they want to get in before the public wises up and the idea becomes so toxic that it becomes political suicide to suggest it. I.e. They want Big Brother to become the new normal, and use it for everything that 1984 and others warned you about.

          That may sound like fear mongering, but remember this: This technology threatens societal change in a big way, and that change threatens some of the biggest and most powerful incumbents currently in existence. (Copyright, Censorship, Ideology, Transactions (of any kind), Ability to work, etc.) Those incumbents will do everything in their power to subvert / mitigate / or avoid that change so that they can keep their power, or worse (as is here) increase their power. That's basic human nature of both fear, and greed. So keep that in mind when you suggest giving them what they want. You might give them a centimeter, but they will take a kilometer given the chance. Their power depends on it.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 14 Jul 2017 @ 2:47pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Most people support giving law enforcement limited powers to investigate crime. Here I'm talking about things like wiretap laws and search warrants, etc... I think before long, governments around the world will start to require similar access to new messaging platforms.

            Sitting back and saying "no" to every proposal isn't going to be seen as a reasonable stance to the general public (ie voters). IMHO, we're better off getting involved in the conversation.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              That One Guy (profile), 14 Jul 2017 @ 2:57pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Sitting back and saying "no" to every proposal isn't going to be seen as a reasonable stance to the general public (ie voters). IMHO, we're better off getting involved in the conversation.

              When the 'proposals' are asking for something that is literally impossible and ignoring the experts who repeatedly explain this 'No' is an entirely reasonable response.

              When the proposals are asking for something that will make everyone less safe and secure, 'No' is the only sane response.

              If the ones making the proposals were actually interested in an honest conversation this wouldn't be such a big deal, the problem is that they've made it very clear that they have no interest in any sort of 'conversation' that doesn't follow a scrip along the lines of "You're absolutely right, us experts were just being lazy and what you've been asking for is entirely feasible."

              To the extent that the public needs to be involved it's to explain, repeatedly and as clearly as possible that those demanding 'totally-not-backdoors-promise' are asking for something that is not only impossible it's outright dangerous to the public's safety and security.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • identicon
                Thad, 14 Jul 2017 @ 3:37pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                Explaining it clearly may be the hard part (though it shouldn't be). But I think now's a good time for focusing on mistrust in the government and awareness that if a government has a way to break into your computer, somebody else is going to find out what it is.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 15 Jul 2017 @ 7:07am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  Explaining it clearly may be the hard part (though it shouldn't be).

                  It's hard to explain mathematics to someone who doesn't believe in it.

                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              orbitalinsertion (profile), 14 Jul 2017 @ 4:19pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Wiretap laws and search warrants used to be limited, at leas sometimes, where the system was actually following the law. But that is a wide-open free for all these days. Completely ridiculous and overbroad warrants are rubberstamped all the time.

              But that is all irrelevant, as there should be no back door (including no extra key), full stop.

              And yes, i think most people would love it if law enforcement had its powers at all limited from rampant abuse in some way. That idea is a winner.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 14 Jul 2017 @ 12:21pm

      Re:

      You have a very strange definition of least invasive.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 14 Jul 2017 @ 2:01pm

      No. Just no.

      Probably the least invasive step would be to order Apple and Google to cease operating any secure communication apps unless they are able to provide a plain text copy of the message to the courts when given a lawful order.

      You need to get a refund ASAP from whoever sold you the dictionary you're using, because 'no encryption or broken encryption' is not even remotely close to 'least invasive'.

      Police and government agencies have always had to deal with not being able to have access to all communications, and somehow they managed to do their jobs regardless. Just because they might want total access does not mean they should get it, and they don't get to put everyone at risk just to make their jobs easier.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 14 Jul 2017 @ 2:17pm

        Re: No. Just no.

        They've also always had legal requirements on telephone system operators to facilitate lawful wiretaps.

        FWIW, I don't think all communications should be captured, just that when presented with a legal court order, messaging operators would start collecting data for a limited time on that account. That's what I meant by least invasive - it wouldn't be a dragnet or Al Gore lockbox.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          That One Guy (profile), 14 Jul 2017 @ 2:47pm

          Re: Re: No. Just no.

          So long as the collection doesn't involve breaking encryption I don't have a problem with that.

          By all means collect the particular communications relevant to an investigation after having said collection okay'd by a judge, but if the communications are encrypted such that even if they can be collected they cannot be read that should be the end of it as far as the company's responsibilities.

          If the ones making the request/demand want to try to crack the encryption on their own then have at it, requiring that companies be able to crack their own encryption, which would require intentionally broken encryption is a cost far too high and should be completely off the table.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 15 Jul 2017 @ 2:26pm

            Re: Re: Re: No. Just no.

            Inserting another key doesn't make the encryption broken. It's designed to work that way. It's a feature, not a weakness.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              That One Guy (profile), 15 Jul 2017 @ 6:01pm

              Just like a master key to every lock doesn't 'break' the security they provide...

              No, it's a feature that only the sender and recipient are able to decrypt the communications, with no-one besides those two parties able to do so. That's the entire point of encryption.

              Deliberately making it so the encryption can be broken without the correct authentication, which are things only the sender and recipient have when the encryption is working most certainly is breaking it, because it means whoever gets their hands on the 'extra key' can decrypt at will, undermining the entire purpose of encryption in the first place.

              It's also introduces a deliberate failure point in the encryption such that it can be broken on demand by parties other than the sender/receiver, one which can and will be exploited by others. If 'select' third parties can decrypt then it's not a matter of 'will' that vulnerability be discovered and used by others but 'when' and 'by how many'.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 15 Jul 2017 @ 8:12pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: No. Just no.

              If anyone other than those intended can decrypt it then it is broken. That's a weakness, not a feature.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 15 Jul 2017 @ 8:17pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: No. Just no.

              I wonder if my bank would give me a spare key to the bank and safe, just in case it need to access my safe deposit box outside of regular hours. I won't abuse, honest! (well, more honest than most cops anyways).

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 16 Jul 2017 @ 12:35am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: No. Just no.

              When it come to encrypted messages, the intent of encryption is to ensure that only the sender and receiver can see the messages. Anything that allows another party to read those messages breaks encryption, as it no longer works to protect those messages. This push for a way encryption is nothing more or less that governments banning any form of private communication where a record of that communication is created.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 17 Jul 2017 @ 6:51am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: No. Just no.

                If this is what you want, then you have to manage the keys yourself. As soon as you introduce a third party (like Apple or Google or Qualcomm), then intentions don't matter.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          orbitalinsertion (profile), 14 Jul 2017 @ 4:35pm

          Re: Re: No. Just no.

          They can and still do wiretap. Although now it means hoovering everyone's communications in the neighborhood of the investigation for "limited" times, like 90 days, to pretty much be extended on demand.

          _"FWIW, I don't think all communications should be captured, just that when presented with a legal court order, messaging operators would start collecting data for a limited time on that account."_

          This is already done. Asking parties to set up systems they don't have, with broken encryption and storage for whatever, is an entirely different thing.

          Look, the thing is, you catch criminals by _behavior_. If you don't have the manpower to actually investigate anything, you either need more manpower, or more likely, stop wasting time on completely idiotic things and focus your sills on what is important. Never mind that bad actors still, with all this encryption "debate" going on for years, use completely unencrypted means of communication. The whole encryption thing is a bogeyman to begin with.

          I admire that you want warrants and completely targeted surveillance, but the fact is, this is how it actually works, encryption or no. And if one already knows their target, surveil them one of the ten million other ways. Or, you know, crack the encryption on the device or captured communications yourself.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 18 Jul 2017 @ 2:28am

            Re: Re: Re: No. Just no.

            Metadata of electronic communications (phone, internet)in Australia is now kept for 2 years, because of those damn terrorists who keep terrorizing Australia.
            And now the military are being allowed to enter the domestic scene to "help out" the poor untrained police tackle those nasty terrorists. Apart from some 'lone wolves' who have proclaimed their standoffs with the police were done in the name of ISIS so as to big note themselves, Australia hasn't had any attacks to date. One so-called terrorist was kicked out of the Hells Angels MC & had his bike confiscated by them so had to do something to be the big tough man. The MSM were happy to oblige him too as fear sells.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 15 Jul 2017 @ 7:12am

          Re: Re: No. Just no.

          They've also always had legal requirements on telephone system operators to facilitate lawful wiretaps.

          There have always been communications that the government didn't have access to, warrant or not, even over the phone.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        SteveMB (profile), 15 Jul 2017 @ 11:07am

        Re: No. Just no.

        You need to get a refund ASAP from whoever sold you the dictionary you're using

        Good luck with that -- Trump University is out of business.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      orbitalinsertion (profile), 14 Jul 2017 @ 4:13pm

      Re:

      Nope. You literally think the same way he does.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 17 Jul 2017 @ 1:40am

      Re:

      "Thinking that we can just plug our ears and pretend to not understand him will make things worse."

      The problem is, nobody's doing that. We understand him perfectly. We also understand the many problems with what he's asking for, including the fact that it's literally impossible to achieve it without reducing security for everyone.

      The only people plugging their ears and pretending not to understand are the politicians who keep demanding a backdoor that's only available to the "good guys". Maybe not pretending, but that's the issue.

      "Probably the least invasive step would be to order Apple and Google to cease operating any secure communication apps unless they are able to provide a plain text copy of the message to the courts when given a lawful order"

      ...so that the people interested in having communications that are actually secure go to their many competitors who currently offer such apps? Here's a hint: if your solution is so simplistic that it depends that there's only 2 or 3 tech companies in existence, you might need to rethink it, or at least listen to the people who understand the complexities that exist in the real world.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Jul 2017 @ 11:29am

    Why are politicians so stupid?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 14 Jul 2017 @ 11:47am

      Re:

      They aren't necessarily stupid. They are, however, invested. What they are invested in varies by location, party, and individual politician. Invariably, though, the investment is in 1)what the party believes (right or wrong), 2) the quest for power, and 3) reelection.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Cowardly Lion, 17 Jul 2017 @ 4:26am

        Also...

        ... 4) fellating their sponsors, donors, backers, and 5) avoiding any potential coup, uprising, revolution, dissent, insurrection...

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 14 Jul 2017 @ 12:37pm

      The comprehension gap

      Politics is the art of the possible. Cryptography is the art of the impossible.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 14 Jul 2017 @ 1:58pm

      Everything's easy when you don't have to do it

      Idiot politician calls for 'totally-not-backdoors', uses it to get PR for being 'tough on crime'.

      Tech minded individuals tell them it's impossible.

      Idiot politician tells them to 'nerd harder', uses it for another PR moment.

      Tech minded individuals clarify that they didn't mean it was difficult, or even really difficult, it's literally impossible.

      Idiot politician goes full nuclear, creates bill to make it mandatory. Uses this for PR purposes.

      Tech companies are forced to comply, create broken encryption. Encryption is broken, large amounts of damage result.

      Idiot politician blames tech companies for not trying hard enough to create real 'totally-not-backdoors'. Uses this for PR purposes.

      Politicians are so stupid because the effects of their actions rarely impact them. They can can go on and on about how it's totally possible, and then blame someone else when it turns out that the people who told them it was impossible are proven right by simply claiming they 'didn't try hard enough', or 'did it wrong'.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Jul 2017 @ 11:39am

    “Last Wednesday I met with the chief cryptographer at GCHQ ... And he assured me that this was feasible.”

    Then perhaps he is the one Brandis should be asking to "face up to" his "responsibility".

    Of course I notice he didn't provide a name to go with his claim, leading me to wonder if maybe Brandis is another lying sack of shit.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Thad, 14 Jul 2017 @ 11:41am

    There's a similar story in The Salmon of Doubt, the posthumously-published collection of Douglas Adams essays. It's been years since I read it, but IIRC a policeman pulled him over and had his car sitting in the center lane on a curve, and Adams repeatedly tried to explain to him that this was very dangerous while the officer explained that no it wasn't because he was a policeman.

    It ended something like this:

    Adams: It may be safe according to the laws of England, but it's unsafe according to the laws of the universe. Policeman: Well, we're not in the universe, we're in England.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      christenson, 14 Jul 2017 @ 12:39pm

      Re: Laws of the universe

      Let's repeal the pythagorean theorem, how about?

      Don't forget that in Hitchiker's guide to the galaxy, man proves black is white...but is killed crossing the street a little later.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Thad, 14 Jul 2017 @ 12:51pm

        Re: Re: Laws of the universe

        This whole time I've assumed "zebra crossing" referred to actual zebras. We call them crosswalks here.

        I think I like my version better. It comes with the visual of a man being trampled by zebras he can't see because he can't tell black from white.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Jul 2017 @ 11:59am

    Politicians are so used to massaging numbers that they think they can change their meaning for encryption as well.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Seegras (profile), 14 Jul 2017 @ 2:05pm

      Re:

      Exactly. I don't really think he's NOT meaning it literally, but rather that he considers mathematical laws somehow to be flexible, because in his view everything can be bent the way policymakers want it.

      If he doesn't like one study, he lets commission another one that says the opposite. Hey, it seems to work for medicine or the environment.

      And I think this is a very bad sign of the general scientific prowess of politicians. They obviously do not understand science, at all.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Thad, 14 Jul 2017 @ 3:29pm

        Re: Re:

        I think there's also some general confusion between what we think is impossible and what we know is impossible. Politicians like to say things like, "Well, we used to think [x, y, and z] were impossible, but now we have them!" That's where the "nerd harder" ethos comes from -- on some level, it's an optimism about human ingenuity and the ability to overcome any obstacle if you just try hard enough. "If we can put a man on the moon..."

        Of course, my favorite rejoinder to that is, "Encryption that only the good guys can break isn't like putting a man on the moon, it's like putting a man on the sun."

        It's not "impossible" in the sense that we haven't figured out how to do it yet, it's impossible because it doesn't actually make any sense according to the physical laws of the universe.

        I think a good big part of it is that a lot of people -- even otherwise intelligent people -- shut off their brains as soon as you sit them in front of a computer, and don't exercise even the barest form of rational thought as to how the thing actually works.

        Computers are not magic. They do not know who is using them or for what purpose. They cannot tell the difference between a legal search and an illegal one, or between the government and the Russian mafia.

        All of these things should be extremely obvious.

        So should the fact that when there is a way of breaking into a computer, somebody is going to find it, and exploit it for money. Computers have enough vulnerabilities that are there by accident; creating more on purpose is madness. We're already looking at the worst malware epidemic in 13 years because the NSA stockpiled vulnerabilities instead of reporting them; imagine how much worse it would be if governments mandated adding vulnerabilities to software on purpose.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 14 Jul 2017 @ 3:53pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          To add salt to the wound: The way they are handling things and probably the only way they would be able to use it, if they got backdoors into everything and free access, would be to have it all in one place and make it easy for every tech-challenged person in law-enforcement to access. So if it got out, that would mean that the "tiny" attack we have seen on a single (though major) OS would pale in comparison to what would happen then.
          Free access is what they are working towards so no matter what proposal they come up with and how many assurances they give, the only choice is to not give them a single thing.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 14 Jul 2017 @ 7:45pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Computers have enough vulnerabilities that are there by accident; creating more on purpose is madness.

          With that argument, politicians will just say that if it's true that no matter how hard we try to create a perfectly invulnerable system we always wind up with flaws that can be exploited, then adding exploitable vulnerabilities/backdoors on purpose can only result in a perfect system.

          (This is valid logic, since symbolic logicians can just 'add more symbols until it's true.')

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        orbitalinsertion (profile), 14 Jul 2017 @ 5:19pm

        Re: Re:

        They seem to have trouble with reality in general. Asking them to be mildly versed in STEM, for the most part, is asking way too much.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 15 Jul 2017 @ 7:24am

        Re: Re:

        Exactly. I don't really think he's NOT meaning it literally, but rather that he considers mathematical laws somehow to be flexible, because in his view everything can be bent the way policymakers want it.

        That reminds me of an old joke I once heard. A mathematician, and engineer and an accountant were applying for government job. Each was asked what 2 + 2 equals. The mathematician says "4". The engineer says "4, within measurement error". The account gets up, goes over to the window, pulls down the shade, and asks "what do you want it to equal?"

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          SteveMB (profile), 15 Jul 2017 @ 11:41am

          Re: Re: Re:

          It reminds me of a joke about a quarterback, a gymnast, and an economist who were stranded on a desert island. Searching for food, they found a coconut tree.
          The gymnast tried to climb the tree to get to the coconuts, but the trunk was too smooth and slick to get a grip.
          The quarterback slammed into the tree trying to shake the coconuts loose, but that didn't work either.
          The economist looked thoughtful and said, "Assume that we have a ladder...".

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Jul 2017 @ 12:13pm

    Attn Mike!!!

    It looks like TechDirt.com has been hacked by The Onion. No one is this dumb -- or are they?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 18 Jul 2017 @ 12:37am

      Re: Attn Mike!!!

      Well enough Australian voters were dumb enough to vote Malcolm Turbull's Liberal Party back in at the last election just after dumping an unpleasant previous Prime Minister Tony Abbott. PM Abbott got in by having his party & his media mates (Murdoch, Packer & Stokes) whinge that the Labor Party had recently dumped a PM, who then got dumped by the one that was just dumped. Federal politics in Australia has become extremely off-putting which is just what many politicians & their large financial backers want. Then they can get down to the business of running the country just the way they want it to run.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Jul 2017 @ 12:25pm

    A physicist once told me a story of how his wife got a ticket for speeding that he tried to challenge in court. He presented evidence to the court that proved it was physically impossible for her minivan to have accelerated to anywhere near the speed the officer said it did in the distance the officer said it did. After presenting his evidence, the judge looked at him and said "The only laws we care about here are the laws of the state, not the laws of physics. Guilty! Next!"

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 14 Jul 2017 @ 12:56pm

      Re:

      In most traffic courts you could have video of you not speeding (or whatever the charge was) and the judge wouldn't care. They're mostly just there to take your $$. One of the few times I was in traffic court the judge actually announced that no one was getting off that day due to budget deficiencies.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 14 Jul 2017 @ 7:54pm

        Re: Re:

        Your puny 'reality' cowers in fear when faced with the might of BASIC COMMON LAW!

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        That One Guy (profile), 14 Jul 2017 @ 8:19pm

        Do not pass GO. Do not collect your next paycheck. Go straight to 'Get the hell out of the court'

        One of the few times I was in traffic court the judge actually announced that no one was getting off that day due to budget deficiencies.

        So guilt or innocence didn't matter because innocent people don't need to pay fines and they had to make up for budget problems. The freakin' mob would struggle to be as openly corrupt as that judge was.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    mcinsand, 14 Jul 2017 @ 12:43pm

    any relatives in Indiana

    Possibly Turnbull's mentally-defective chromosomes can trace their way back to a line from Indiana where there was another effort to (mis)legislate (anti)math: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indiana_Pi_Bill.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Jul 2017 @ 12:51pm

    Definition of backdoor

    "A back door is typically a flaw in a software program that perhaps the -- you know, the developer of the software program is not aware of and that somebody who knows about it can exploit" [...] That bit of word salad suggests that at least a tiny smidgen of actual knowledge made it into his brain. A backdoor is an exploit.

    That's not true. "Backdoor" normally refers to something that was known to the developer, and intentionally coded. What he's describing is a bug (and an "exploit" would be a program that takes advantage of that bug). One could say that's a de-facto backdoor but it would be at least a little unusual.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Jul 2017 @ 1:01pm

    and not a single government is doing this to make people safer, to stop terrorism in any way, shape or form, or to stop pornography from getting to youngsters! it's all being done so that those governments know when the people are pissed at them and are going to kick off against them!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    David, 14 Jul 2017 @ 1:16pm

    You know what?

    "The laws of Australia prevail in Australia, I can assure you of that," he said on Friday. "The laws of mathematics are very commendable, but the only law that applies in Australia is the law of Australia."

    To me this sounds that he was used to his father paying his math teacher to let him pass his exams, and he confuses this with the math getting changed on his behalf.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Christenson, 14 Jul 2017 @ 1:45pm

      Re: You know what? Prohibition!

      You know, they tried that (Prohibition of alchohol) in the US, and got a rather graphic demonstration of how writing laws that ignored science, much less math, just made almost everyone a lawbreaker and destroyed respect for the legal laws.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 14 Jul 2017 @ 1:45pm

    Let he who is with a working brain make the first comment...

    Pretty sure someone arguing for the undermining of public safety and security has no business trying to play the 'moral' card.

    Delusions of grandeur are one thing, that's almost expected in politics, but the idea that the laws of a country trump the laws of math is not just absurd, it's insane. You might as well pass a law stating that things must fall up when dropped and then throw a tantrum when that blasted gravity refuses to comply, it's that ridiculous.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    MarcAnthony (profile), 14 Jul 2017 @ 2:00pm

    Moral responsibility

    I agree that there's a moral responsibility here, however, I think that the responsibility is for cryptographers to protect others from idiots in government that believe they have a right to eavesdrop on every communication, especially in the absence of wrongdoing. Cryptographic enthusiasts should be educating their fellow citizens on how to best secure private information, as the campaign against encryption is actually a war on personal liberty.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 14 Jul 2017 @ 4:10pm

      Re: Moral responsibility

      Not only this, but i feel like they/we have a responsibility to prevent this from happening no matter how much support it gets.
      We live in a democracy, but this isn't even a question about "might turn out bad" or "lets try it and then we can just change it later if it doesn't turn out like we wanted" but instead more like if a law was made that police had to hand anyone who asked, their loaded sidearm, or placing a nuclear powerplant in every major city, open to the public and with minimal safety.
      The difference is that people know that guns kill (or people with guns) and nuclear meltdowns are bad for your health, but too few people know just how dangerous it would be to expose all data.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Jul 2017 @ 2:33pm

    thank you, thank you, australia.

    i was feeling pretty bad about having the only truly stupid 'elected' leader, but that comment takes home the fruitcake today.

    how does he feel about evening out the days so that they all have the same amount of sunlight? i'd appreciate his looking into that.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    eaving (profile), 14 Jul 2017 @ 3:25pm

    This argument runs both ways. World peace is obviously doable. Politic harder politicians. Morally you know you should....

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Jul 2017 @ 3:57pm

    Malcolm the little yappy pocket sized canine trying to show that he is a big dog as well.

    Another nail in the coffin of "democratic" Australia.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Jul 2017 @ 4:14pm

    The Australian PM, Turnbull, was voted in by his party after his predecessor, Abbot, lost 30 polls in a row and it became clear that they were going to lose the next election with him.

    Abbot was probably the most unpopular Australian PM ever. He is a hard-line, ultraconservative religious fundamentalist, obsessed with "national security" and contemptuous of liberal democracy.

    Turnbull won the election with a one seat majority. Abbot's "delcon" (delusional conservative) faction still dominates the party room and mostly hates Turnbull, but they have tolerated him so far because it would be electoral suicide to put another delcon back in the chair.

    But Turnbull has now lost 15 polls in a row and they are in an election-losing position again. And Abbot is continually undermining and trying to destablise Turnbull from the backbench.

    This move is probably about Turnbull trying to placate Abbot and Dutton and the delcons so that he can cling to power for a few more weeks, and maybe transfer a few billion more from the public to his bankster mates.

    Remember, Australia was ground zero for the Murdoch plague. Imagine if 70% of news coverage was Fox News. That is Australia.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 18 Jul 2017 @ 2:43am

      Re:

      If the media laws are changed then the 70% will go up to 80% or more with Channel 10 TV coming under his indirect control through his son & more radio stations would be bought out as well. He might even buy out Fairfax & it's stable of newspapers & online real estate venture as the other bids have fallen through. Then he will own just about all the national, state & regional newspapers that exist in Australia.

      Backbencher Tony Abbott wouldn't still be on the scene causing untold damage to the Liberals with his toxic termiting of the NSW branch of the party if Rupert Murdoch wasn't backing him to the hilt. Murdoch is the kingmaker & he didn't install Turnbull to the top job, Abbott is still his man.

      This weekend at the North Sydney Rosehill racing club the party meets to discuss Abbott's plan to 'take back control' of the party & if it fails then a split is most likely with the Ex Liberal Senator Cori Bernadi (foreign delegate of ALEC) giving a speech to the Liberal Party members to come over to his far right Australian Conservative party.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 18 Jul 2017 @ 2:47am

      Re:

      Peter Dutton has just been given the post of running the new super ministry of Homeland Security. So the ex Queensland drug squad cop is now happy. Got to pay off those loans on the $10 million property portfolio.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Bruce from Woolloomooloo, 18 Jul 2017 @ 4:56am

        Re: Re:

        If the US wants to call something the Department of Homeland Security, that's the sort of thing we've come to expect, but for Australia to use the same name is nauseating.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Lawrence D’Oliveiro, 14 Jul 2017 @ 4:25pm

    Why Don’t The NSA Do It?

    If the intelligence community is so keen on a workable back-doored encryption system, why don’t they come up with one? The US Government employs the NSA, which (allegedly) has the largest and brightest pool of crypto talent on the planet. If anybody has the necessary hashtags to come up with such a scheme, wouldn’t it be them?

    Maybe President Trump can issue an Executive Order to that effect—could that be the missing sprinkling of magic pixie dust that is needed to kick-start the process?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 15 Jul 2017 @ 7:28am

      Re: Why Don’t The NSA Do It?

      Maybe President Trump can issue an Executive Order to that effect

      And if they can't do it, he can give them his famous "you're fired!" line.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Beta (profile), 14 Jul 2017 @ 5:58pm

    slow clap

    "The laws of mathematics are very commendable, but the only law that applies in Australia is the law of Australia."

    I propose that we suspend the "Funniest Comment" competition for this week. We can't top this.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 14 Jul 2017 @ 6:44pm

      Re: slow clap

      It would be funny if it were some random idiot on the streets. That it's coming from the Australian Prime Minster rather takes the humor out of it because that level of stupid is dangerous.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      David, 16 Jul 2017 @ 12:23am

      Easy to top.

      The laws of mathematics, its axioms, are actually made up so as to match convenience.

      The laws of physics are tied into reality.

      So if he had talked about the laws of physics as being merely commendable, that would have been more egregious.

      Of course, I rather suspect that this distinction would be lost on him.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Lawrence D’Oliveiro, 16 Jul 2017 @ 3:25am

        Re: The laws of mathematics, its axioms, are actually made up so as to match convenience.

        So, do you think you can come up with some suitably convenient axioms that will make Mr Turnbull happy?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Yes, I know I'm commenting anonymously, 14 Jul 2017 @ 11:52pm

    OK, Yeah, It's Wishful Thinking on my Part

    Perhaps it's time to make these politicians come up with encryption themselves (including the programming). It'll keep them away from ruining the world for the rest of us for a while. Also, they cannot program and they cannot do math, so they will not get to anything working they can force on the rest of us.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Feldie47 (profile), 15 Jul 2017 @ 3:13am

    Let's get historical and REAL

    Google this:

    Indiana + pi + 1897.

    The last time I know of that morons tried to legislate math.
    Had they been successful, it would not have ended well.
    Certainly not for bicycle or ball bearing manufacturers.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 16 Jul 2017 @ 12:38pm

      Re: Let's get historical and REAL

      Let us pass a law the "squares the circle" so that the irrational number known as pi will equal something us idiot politicians can understand.

      Although us politicians are all irrational, we still have difficulty recognizing similar items in other fields, like math.

      Math is hard ... me no like. Think I'll go into politics where I don't have to know anything.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Jul 2017 @ 3:24am

    where do these people come from? how the hell do they get the top job in a country? fucking idiot needs to start learning before opening his mouth and definitely stop taking notice of the other 'bought and paid for' fucking idiot, George Brandis. he needs investigating to find out why he is so much on the side of the entertainment industries and the USA entertainment industries in particular! no one does this without getting some sort of kick back!!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 18 Jul 2017 @ 2:57am

      Re:

      Cayman Islands tax dodging Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull personally donated $1.75 million to the Liberal Party's re-election campaign last year when he called for an early snap double dissolution of Parliament.

      Rupert Murdoch controls the Liberal Party & is their propaganda machine which ensures that they keep getting reelected. Nobbling the Fibre to the Home National Broadband Network was one of the first jobs his party set about doing when back in power in 2013 to ensure there isn't a level playing field for the likes of Netflix, etc to compete against his cable/satellite pay TV company Foxtel.

      It's full steam ahead back to the 1800's with copper & coal now that Murdoch's Liberal Party are in power.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Jul 2017 @ 4:29am

    Not All Laws Are Created Equal

    "...laws can trump basic mathematics..."

    This is what we get when we fail properly to educate people about the distinctions between the breakable laws erected within political frameworks and the unbreakable laws of Mathematics. Calling both "laws" introduces the potential for confusion 'mongst the ignorant or foolish. It worsens significantly when we move far beyond the ideas of "basic mathematics" into the truly arcane, advanced landscapes of contemporary cryptography through which only a relatively few humans in any generation will ever tread surely.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Jul 2017 @ 6:05am

    "The laws of mathematics are very commendable..." The idiots are in charge.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Lord Ruben, 15 Jul 2017 @ 6:21am

    Decrypt this

    JAMES B. COMEY <info@lee.com>
    Tue 33/18/2019, 11:79

    Federal Bureau of Investigation
    Counter-terrorism Division and Cyber Crime Division
    J. Edgar. Hoover Building Washington DC
    JAMES B. COMEY

    Attention Beneficiary,

    Records show that you are among one of the individuals and organizations who are yet to receive their overdue payment from overseas which includes those of Lottery/Gambling,Contract and Inheritance. Through our Fraud Monitory Unit we have noticed that you have been transacting with some impostors and fraudsters who have been impersonating the likes of Prof. Soludo/Mr.Lamido Sanusi of the Central Bank Of Nigeria, Mr. Patrick Aziza, Bode Williams, Frank, Anderson, none officials of Oceanic Bank, Zenith Banks, Kelvin Young of HSBC, Ben of FedEx, Ibrahim Sule, Dr. Usman Shamsuddeen and some impostors claiming to be The Federal Bureau of Investigation.

    The Cyber Crime Division of the FBI gathered information from the Internet Fraud Complaint Center (IFCC) on how some people have lost outrageous sums of money to these impostors. As a result of this, we hereby advise you to stop communication with any one not referred to you by us. We have negotiated with the Federal Ministry of Finance that your payment totaling $5,900,000.00(Five Million Nine Hundred Thousand Dollars). will be released to you via a custom pin based ATM card with a maximum withdrawal limit of $15,000 a day which is powered by Visa Card and can be used anywhere in the world where you see a Visa Card Logo on the Automatic Teller Machine (ATM).

    We guarantee receipt of your payment. This is as a result of the mandate from US Government to make sure all debts owed to citizens of American and also Asia and Europe which includes Inheritance, Contract, Gambling/Lottery etc are been cleared.

    To redeem your funds, you are hereby advised to contact the ATM Card Center via email for their requirement to proceed and procure your Approval of Payment Warrant and Endorsement of your ATM Release Order on your behalf which will cost you $250 Usd only and nothing more as everything else has been taken care of by the Federal Government including taxes, custom paper and clearance duty so all you will ever need to pay is $250.00 only.

    Lord Ruben (ATM Card Center Director)
    Central Bank of Nigeria
    Central Business District,
    Cad astral Zone, federal
    Capital Territory,Nigeria.
    ATM Card Center Director Lord Ruben
    Email: ( bar-lord-ruben@secretarias.com )
    Phone: +234-810-109-8678

    Do contact Lord Ruben of the ATM Card Center via his contact details above and furnish him with your details as listed below:

    FULL NAMES: __________________________________
    DELIVERY ADDRESS FOR ATM CARD: __________________
    SEX: _______________
    DATE OF BIRTH: __________________
    OCCUPATION: __________________
    TELEPHONE NUMBER: _____________________
    EMAIL ADDRESS: _____________________

    On contacting him with your details your file would be updated and he will be sending you the payment information in which you will use in making payment of $250.00 via MoneyGram or Western Union Money Transfer for the procurement of your Approval of Payment Warrant and Endorsement of your ATM Release Order, after which the delivery of your ATM card will be effected to your designated home address without any further delay, extra fee.

    JAMES B. COMEY
    DIRECTOR
    FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION
    UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
    WASHINGTON, D.C. 20535
    Phone Number: +1 (206) 259-9114

    Note: Disregard any email you get from any impostors or offices claiming to be in possession of your ATM card, you are hereby advice only to be in contact with Lord Ruben of the ATM card center who is the rightful person to deal with in regards to your payment and forward any emails you get from impostors to this office so we could act upon it immediately. Help stop cyber crime.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    turtlesAreAllTheWayDown, 16 Jul 2017 @ 12:08pm

    No-one's in the Southern Hemisphere, anyway

    Everyone in the Northern Hemisphere experiences gravity, that pulls them down (towards the nearest patch of dirt/rock/water/whatever).

    Trouble is, everyone and everything in the Southern Hemisphere is ALSO being pulled down -- away from the dirt/water/etc. We've just not been very talkative about it, especially since it makes for some very awkward moments around the dinner table.

    So, for example, when a Northern-Hemisphere Prime Minister voids his colon, the material tends to fall away from the body.

    However, in the Southern Hemisphere, there's a real danger that attempting to void the colon may make the contents go up -- into the body. Working from anecdotal evidence only, plus observation, this may be happening in some cases.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 16 Jul 2017 @ 12:41pm

      Re: No-one's in the Southern Hemisphere, anyway

      The theory of gravity is only a theory ... some say god is pushing you down otherwise you would just fly away .. somewhere.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 18 Jul 2017 @ 3:00am

        Re: Re: No-one's in the Southern Hemisphere, anyway

        Noooo, it's the Flying Spaghetti Monster's noodley appendages that keep us attached to the Earth :)

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Alexander, 16 Jul 2017 @ 4:43pm

    Not stupid

    Turnbull is not stupid. He is entirely playing to the party conservative base. It's just dogwhistle.
    Please never assume idiocy where evil selfishness is a possible explanation where a politician is concerned. Turnbull is smart, but right now he is losing his party. The NeoCons are being fractured by the Religious Right Conservatives and he is desperate for anything to stop the split.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 16 Jul 2017 @ 5:45pm

      Not helping

      'He's not an idiot, he's just acting like one by pushing an incredibly stupid and outright dangerous idea' isn't exactly any better.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Chombs, 16 Jul 2017 @ 6:52pm

    Folks, don't be too harsh on that idiot Aussie PM. He is entitled to his opinion, but is just that, an opinion. It is NOT a fact and his claims are not backed up by facts. So to ignorant words deaf ears i guess.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 17 Jul 2017 @ 12:34am

      Re:

      What counts as 'too harsh'?

      I'd be all for calling someone pushing for an impossible and dangerous idea not-very-nice things if they were just your average person, the fact that he's someone in a position where his ideas can easily cause much more damage makes it all the more important to call him out on his stupid and dangerous ideas/claims when he makes them so that they are less likely to be taken at face value by people who don't know just how wrong he is.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 17 Jul 2017 @ 2:17am

        Re: Re:

        Considering he is now setting things in play to bring in the armed forces when terror attacks occur with shoot to kill orders for suspected terrorists, with essentially no verification that the suspects are in point of fact terrorists. We have just degenerated into bizarro world of the military state, we have gone beyond police state. We have become the Aussie version of NK.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Jul 2017 @ 2:09pm

    Albert Einstein is rolling in his grave.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 18 Jul 2017 @ 4:13am

    What they're asking for is entirely reasonable, in theory, right up until a drunk cop accidentally gives the back door key away.
    Or a corrupt cop steals it to pay gambling debts.
    Or a hacker finds it.
    Or an unknowing programmer fixes it, thinking it's just another oversight.
    We have enough issues with unintentional backdoors, much less intentional ones.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Barackski Obamaski, 18 Jul 2017 @ 4:45am

    Nyet - we give Aussies Game of Thrones - free.

    They not stop Aussie brat's watching Game of Thrones, Russky hackers give to them free - we have encryption not even Crowdstrike crack, Mr Rupert Murdoch and Foxtel can yebat himself.

    Sloboda, Guys. 🕴🕴🕴

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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