Talking end-to-end encryption on ABC RN Breakfast

ABC logoAustralia is opening a new campaign in the seemingly never-ending Cyptowars. This time, the target is end-to-end encryption.

Our favourite attorney-general, Senator George Brandis QC, wants “the cooperation of companies like Apple and Facebook and Google and so on” to help the government break into encrypted communications. That cooperation would presumably extend to messaging apps that use end-to-end encryption, such as WhatsApp, Signal, Telegram, and so on.

And cooperation would be ensured, thanks to new legal sanctions.

Brandis says he’s not interested in putting mandatory “back door” access into the encryption used by messaging platforms. But how can that be true when he’s asking for the tech companies to be able to provide access to customers’ encrypted messages? That’s exactly what a back door is.

Anyway, this morning I was interviewed on this topic by Fran Kelly on the ABC’s RN Breakfast. We spoke for more than seven minutes.

Play

The audio is ©2017 Australian Broadcasting Corporation, and is being served directly from the ABC website.

For more analysis, try George Brandis’s salvo in cryptowars could blow a hole in architecture of the internet, by the Guardian’s Paul Farrell.

Weekly Wrap 331: Maybe possibly a phase shift, perhaps

Glebe Island Bridge: click to embiggenMy week of Monday 26 September to Sunday 2 October 2016 was quite good, I think, for a whole bunch of reasons.

I did a decent amount of media production. I got one of my lingering geek-for-hire projects moving again. And it was a successful first week of the action plan put together by my doctor. Many wins.

I also launched a Pozible crowdfunding campaign, Stilgherrian > Melbourne 2016, to fund a variety of things late this month. Please consider.

Articles

Podcasts

None, because I rescheduled the planned recording session for The 9pm Edict to this coming Wednesday.

Media Appearances

Corporate Largesse

None.

The Week Ahead

Monday is Labour Day, a public holiday, so I’ll be trying to take it easy. I suspect I’ll fail.

On Tuesday, I’m writing for ZDNet, bringing my geek-for-hire projects up to date, and negotiating my next moves with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).

On Wednesday, I’m recording and streaming an episode of The 9pm Edict podcast. That’s scheduled for 2100 AEST.

Thursday sees a medical appointment, the final episode of The Code at 2030 AEDT, and the wrap-up of my Pozible campaign at 2100 AEDT.

Friday will mostly be about some geek-for-hire work.

I’m hoping that the weekend will be the first with no actual work in quite some time. At least that’s the plan.

Further Ahead

I plan to record the next Public House Forum episode of the Edict on Saturday 15 October somewhere in or near Sydney.

I’m going to the AISA National Conference in Sydney on 18-20 October, and the iappANZ Trust In Privacy Annual Summit in Sydney on 14 November.

I plan to be in Melbourne from 21-30 October, or thereabouts. The trip includes the Ruxcon Security Conference on Sat-Sun 22-23 Oct (I’m also on the closing panel), a radio spot on ABC 774 Melbourne on Tue 25 Oct at 1930 AEDT, MCing an event for LaTrobe University on the evening of Wed 26 Oct (details TBA), and recording a Public House Forum episode of the Edict on Sat 29 Oct.

[Photo: Sydney’s Glebe Island Bridge, photographed on the sunny 28 September 2016.]

Talking Apple vs FBI and more on ABC 774 Melbourne

ABC logoI seem to have settled into semi-regular radio spots on ABC 774 Melbourne, talking about technology news roughly once a month. I did one of these on Thursday.

The main item was the legal battle between Apple and the FBI over an iPhone that belonged to one of the shooters in the San Bernardino shootings of December 2015. While there’s plenty of coverage of this case, I will mention that the FBI’s hack may never reach Apple, and the only winners are the shareholders of cybersecurity companies, because more people will see security as important.

The other item was the announcement on Thursday of the IOT Group’s new product, the ROAM-e drone for taking flying selfies. Yes, that’s what I said.

Heres the full 22-minute conversation with presenter Casey Bennetto, who was filling in for Lindy Burns.

Play

This audio is ©2016 Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

Weekly Wrap 292: Perhaps not as ready as I’d like

Ducks on the Parramatta River: click to embiggenMonday 4 to Sunday 10 January 2016 was a reminder that the world, and especially the humans that infect it, move to their own natural cycles and patterns. It’s easier to move in rhythm with these than try to work against them, for better or for worse.

Australia shuts down between Christmas and New Year, yes. But despite the claims that we now live in a 24/7 ever-on ever-connected cycle, the reality is that much of Australia still operates to its traditional annual cycle. Shut down just before Christmas, operate in summer holiday mode through to Australia Day on 26 January.

You just have to face the fact that nothing substantial can get done in the first week of January, and that you’ll have trouble getting up to speed on any substantial projects right through to the end of the month.

Individual humans have their own patterns and habits as well, and it’s also tough to change them. You can’t teach a duck to dance, they say. But when the duck is smarter and more stubborn than you are, what hope can there be?

So it with those observations that I introduce this week’s humble list of achievements, and note a few of the necessary changes to The Plan.

Articles

Podcasts

None.

Media Appearances

None.

5at5

None. But should 5at5 eventually reappear, you’ll know about it if you subscribe.

Corporate Largesse

None. The year has not yet started.

The Week Ahead

It’s another week at Wentworth Falls, and broadly speaking it’ll be much the same as its predecessor — but with achievements rather than distractions. He says boldly.

What’s definite is that the next episode of The 9pm Edict podcast will be recorded on Thursday night 14 January, streamed live through Spreaker from 2100 AEDT.

I’ll also be making a day trip to Sydney for a medical appointment at some point. I won’t know when that will be until Monday. That’ll be on Wednesday. I’ll have plenty of free time during the day, so if we need to catch up then let me know.

Apart from that, I’ll continue to work on designing a website and a matching email template for a client; writing that episode of The 9pm Edict; updating some of the stuff I use to explain what it is that I actually do; typing up the loose ends from my crowdfunding projects; thinking about my future accommodation needs; and bringing my bookkeeping up to date so I can file five years of outstanding tax returns.

Further Ahead

On 10 to 12 February, I’ll be in Melbourne for the Pause Fest. I’m on a panel on Thursday 11 titled “The security paradox: individual privacy vs digital driftnets”. I’ll be staying in Melbourne until Saturday. If you’d like to catch up, let me know.

I’ve dumped plans to go to Geelong to cover Linux.conf.au in the first week of February. Sorry, but I need to keep that week flexible and close to Sydney for personal reasons.

For the same reason, my bold intention to record The 9pm Edict’s Public House Forum on Saturday 23 January is also dumped. I need a clearer plan for what I’m actually doing with my various podcasts. They can’t just be an indulgent drain on my time, and despite the inexplicable generosity of those who’ve been supporting me, the numbers don’t quite add up yet. Stand by for more thoughts about that in the not-too-distant future.

Some things that remain on The Plan include Tech Leaders in Leura on 13-14 March; the Australian Cyber Security Centre Conference in Canberra on 12-14 April; NetSuite’s SuiteWorld in San Jose on 16-19 May; the AusCERT Conference on the Gold Coast on 24-27 May; the Gartner Security & Risk Management Summit in Sydney on 22-23 August; and the AISA National Conference in Sydney on 18-20 October.

What else should I add to that list?

Apart from anything else, the first thing I notice about it is that nearly everything is in Australia. Have my horizons contracted?

Update 11 January 2016: Edited to reflect minor schedule changes.

[Photo: Ducks on the Parramatta River, photographed on 15 September 2012. I spent quite a lot of time watching these ducks on the banks for Sydney’s Parramatta river that spring afternoon before they’d finally had enough of me, formed convoy, and departed.]

Talking about the “Dark Web” on ABC News 24

This morning I was interviewed by ABC News 24 about the “Dark Web”, a term Fairfax news outlets used earlier this week in a story headlined The new underbelly. Since I was at the event in Sydney that triggered the writing of that story, I was happy to tone down some of the hype-scare.

By the “Dark Web” they meant things like Silk Road, a marketplace for all manner of illegality, and the Tor anonymity network that allows Silk Road to hide… somewhere.

I’ll update this post later today to include links to the other things I discussed with presenter Andrew Geoghegan.

If the embedded video doesn’t work for you, you can watch it over on YouTube.

This is a rough copy of the video for now. I’ll upload a better version as soon as it becomes available, though that’ll still have me staring mindlessly into the distance as I’m being introduced. Sigh. The footage is ©2012 Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

Weekly Wrap 74: More than just a pub sign

A weekly summary of what I’ve been doing elsewhere on the internets — which was a relatively quiet week after three significantly more busy ones. Thank the gods.

Podcasts

  • Patch Monday episode 112, “Security: PGP to Android, NFC and beyond”. A conversation with Jon Callas. He’s now chief technical officer with Entrust, but he’s been at the centre of computer security since the olden days. Thoroughly enjoyable, this was.

Articles

Media Appearances

None.

Corporate Largesse

None.

Elsewhere

Most of my day-to-day observations are on my high-volume Twitter stream, and random photos and other observations turn up on my Posterous stream. The photos also appear on Flickr, where I eventually add geolocation data and tags.

[Photo: A Harts Pub sign, The Rocks, Sydney, photographed this afternoon.]