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Govt Encryption Laws Damaging Oz: Calls For Major Change

The Morrison Government’s encryption laws are damaging Australia, with many multi-nationals now blacklisting the nation, according to a report by cloud services provider Vault Systems.

“We are currently seeing an exodus of data from Australia including physical, operational, and legal sovereignty,” Vault says in a submission to a government review of the controversial laws.

“As multinational companies move physical, operational, and legal jurisdiction offshore, they easily side-step the AA Act – in effect thwarting the Act,” Vault said.

“Current legislation does not prevent these companies continuing to provide services to Australian citizens, companies or government. In effect, these companies are eluding the law and attaining revenue while everyday Australian citizens are suffering the consequences.”

Vault has called on the Government to create a “data sovereignty policy”, mandating that all sensitive data hosted in the cloud be regarded as “sovereign” and for all involved staff to undergo Australian clearance vetting, where needed.

The company is far from alone in its views – indeed quite a few are much stronger in their condemnation. For instance, the Australian Civil Society Coalition has reiterated previous calls for the laws to be entirely repealed.

The coalition includes Digital Rights Watch, Blueprint for Free Speech, Human Rights Law Centre, NSW Council for Civil Liberties, Queensland Council for Civil Liberties, Liberty Victoria, Access Now, Electronic Frontiers Australia, and Future Wise.

It is calling for an “enforceable federal human rights framework”, along with protection for whistleblowers on encryption matters.

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