Australian police seek the right to install malware on home devices during “emergencies”
The Queensland Police have asked the Australian Parliament to give them the right to covertly install malicious software on your home devices in order to conduct mass surveillance during times of “national emergency”
The plan neatly demonstrates the ignorance and indifference of law enforcement to the realities of information security and civil liberties. Australia has emerged as a world leader in bad information policy, seeking a worldwide ban on working cryptography, with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull insisting that “The laws of mathematics are very commendable, but the only law that applies in Australia is the law of Australia.”
The disproportionality of hijacking every device in everyone’s home to listen in on all their conversations to find one bad guy should be obvious, but there’s another, even more urgent dimension to this.
For the cops to be able to install malware in your fridge, thermostat, CCTV, smart toilet, pacemaker, seismic damper and nannycam, there needs to be some kind of backdoor (or at least an unpatched defect) in the software on those devices.