Internet Australia is deeply concerned with the lack of consultation and inadequate time provided by the government for analysis and review of the Telecommunications and Other Legislation Amendment (Assistance and Access) Bill 2018. Less than one week remains of an manifestly short few weeks for submissions to the PJCIS, with only a single day of hearings scheduled to help the Committee work through the many serious security, privacy and implementation deficiencies raised by many hundreds of experts and respected institutions from Australia and across the globe.
Attached is an Open Letter sent earlier today to the Minister for Home Affairs, the Hon Peter Dutton MP, calling on the Minister to rectify serious deficiencies in the consultation and public engagement, and improve the manifestly inadequate and rushed process performed to date

"Rather than create a separate 'complex issues' dispute resolution body that would appear to work in parallel to the TIO, Internet Australia has submitted that a strengthened TIO was actually the right body, and should be given the powers and resources to extend investigations of end-user complaints throughout the wholesale supply chain, and in particular to levy fines and costs directly against wholesale suppliers (including NBNCo) where they are found to have caused the problem, so that the RSPs are not lumbered with costs for complaints they did not cause. This should give RSPs the confidence to go to the TIO arm-in-arm with an end-user to support the end-users complaint and help the end-user get it resolved, and put the wholesale resellers/aggregators on notice to lift their performance  as they would then be exposed to consequences they don't currently face." - Internet Australia

Full Submission Here

Internet Australia is deeply concerned with the exposure draft of the Telecommunications and Other Legislation Amendment (Assistance and Access) Bill by the Department of Home Affairs, and the short four-week period permitted for public comments and analysis.

“We recognise that law enforcement has a legitimate desire to access and view information transmitted across telecommunications networks by serious criminals, and that often these messages are encrypted in some form, as Internet application developers enhance the security and confidentiality of their services” the Chair of Internet Australia, Dr Paul Brooks, said today.


Full Media Release Here


Reminder that, with great timing, Internet Australia and ISOC are hosting a number of
international and national experts on encryption at our public Encryption Experts
Session event at Parliament House in Canberra next Monday evening - arranged well
prior to yesterdays exposure draft release.

The event is free to attend and open to the public as well as members, there are still
tickets available at


A number of international experts in encryption and and secure communication are coming to Australia specifically to discuss the importance of strong encryption and Internet confidentiality with parliamentarians, joined with a number of local experts - and they have agreed to provide a public forum on 20th August 4:30pm - 7:30pm.   It WILL be streamed live so that people not in Canberra can watch also. 

International and Australian experts participating include:

  • Dr. Hal Abelson, Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT, a fellow of
    the IEEE, and a founding director of Creative Commons and the Free Software Foundation.
  • Martin Thomson, engineer at Mozilla, member of the Internet Architecture Board (IAB), lead of
    the IAB Privacy and Security Program
  • Mark Nottingham, engineer, member of the Internet Architecture Board (IAB), chair of the
    Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) HTTP and QUIC Working Groups.
  • Dr. Vanessa Teague, cryptographer, University of Melbourne
  • Linus Chang, Director of Scram Software Pty Ltd, an Australian cloud security provider
  • Peter Tonoli, Board member of Electronic Frontier Australia; Director; Internet Australia; and Senior Technical Fellow, Blueprint for Free Speech

The evening will be lead by Keith Besgrove, Vice-Chair of Internet Australia, Christine Runnegar, Senior Director at ISOC, and Ryan Polk, Policy Advisor at ISOC.

If you can attend in Canberra, please register for a ticket at as places are limited for catering purposes.

This event is the outcome of over a year of planning and negotiation, starting with the awesome George Fong before me. We haven't made a big splash about it before now, but behind the scenes, a small group of us have met in Canberra multiple times with politicians, Senators, Ministers, Shadow Ministers and their staff from all sides of politics, looking to advise and educate the policy makers on the importance of strong encryption for Internet trust and confidentiality, without backdoors.

Several times over the past two years, Attorney Generals Department, and now the Department of Home Affairs, has foreshadowed new legislation to assist law enforcement to gain backdoor access to encrypted messaging platforms and mobile handset devices, most recently in June in a speech by  Angus Taylor MP, Minister for Law Enforcement and Cyber Security:

We know the legislation has been drafted for over 7 months now, yet they have not released even an exposure draft for the public to evaluate the impact of how they plan to access currently secure communications. This is shaping up to be another Metadata Retention fiasco all over again.

The Internet Society's position is clear:

and the Internet Society is supporting the awareness raising in Australia....see

We hope this will be the first of a number of information and awareness raising sessions on the importance of keeping strong encryption free from backdoors and other measures that will weaken security of confidential and secure communications, and potentially ecommerce, banking, and anyone who keeps confidential information on a smartphone.