Teaching Encryption Soon to Be Illegal in Australia - Bitcoinist.net

Teaching Encryption Soon to Be Illegal in Australia

Australia is Being Censored by New Law

Under the Defence Trade Control Act (DTCA), Australians could face up to ten years in prison for teaching encryption. Criminal charges will go into effect next year. The new legislation will make it illegal for Australians to  teach or provide information on encryption without having a permit.

Also Read: Authorities Uncover Bitcoin-Funded Gunrunning Operation

Australia’s Department of Defence originally passed the Defence Trade Control Act on November 13, 2012. However, amendments were made to the DTCA and passed into law just last month in April. There is a 12-month implementation period, so Australians are safe for now.

The purpose of this law is to control the transfer of defense and strategic goods technologies. The Australian government says it wants “to strengthen Australia’s export controls, and to stop technology that can be used in conventional and weapons of mass destruction from getting into the wrong hands…”

The Defense and Strategic Goods List (DSGL) goes hand in hand with the Defense Trade Control Act. The DTCA prohibits anyone without a permit from supplying “DSGL technology” to anyone outside of Australia. Since encryption falls within these classifications, any citizen of Australia who shares information on encryption with a person outside the country Australian Government Dept of Defencecould face criminal charges.

Teachers at schools or universities will have to be approved to teach encryption if students are outside of Australia. This presents unique challenges in regards to online education and international students. Researchers and those who publish information on encryption will also be affected. The DTCA could also impact open source privacy software and the computer security industry.

It is also important to consider the implications of this law for digital currencies such as Bitcoin. Advanced encryption techniques are at the heart of Bitcoin and digital currency. In cryptography, encryption is one of the primary techniques that gives digital currency users anonymity.

The Defence Trade Control Act is not the only piece of legislation threatening change to Australia’s Bitcoin landscape. However, what does it mean for the future? The progress and development of digital currency and open source projects rely on a constant free flow of information, shared among people worldwide. Due to the nature of sharing information, anyone in the world could be affected by the restrictions of the DTCA, not just Australians.

Is this new Australian law an act of censorship or the government’s way of protecting “national defense”? Please give your comments!

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Natalie Johnson

Natalie Johnson

Natalie likes to examine digital currency innovations and businesses that shape the future of finance. She especially takes interest in the human side of digital currency and its potential to solve humanitarian issues.Follow @BIT_FAN

  • What utter nonsense. Have fun legislating yourselves into the stupid club, Australia. May as well ban Maths and Physics as well. I hear they’re also a part of weapons building (among other things).

  • Howard Treesong

    Will it be illegal for foreign nationals to offer online encryption technology courses exclusively to Australians? Because I’d like to see Australia demanding extradition of someone elsewhere in the world who offers courses to Australians. That could be fun.

  • This is a pretty stupid non-story. I am opposed – root and branch – to government, but it is absolutely retarded to make up scare stories with no ‘there’ there.

    Although this law is stupid on its face (like all laws promulgated by the political-parasite class and their cronies and camp-followers), it has to be noted that there is already an exemption for anything that is in the public domain.

    That includes literally everything in literally every major crypto protocol and the procedures underlying them (AES and Diffie-Hellman being the most obvious… as an input into CBC-MAC and other stream and block ciphers): I have studied them all.

    What the DSGL is about, is preventing the transmission of crypto that is subject to Defence secrecy provisions (i.e., non-public domain – for example the crypto protocols deployed by DSD and DefComNet). That stuff will be hopeless anyway – .mil (and .gov generally) cannot attract or retain actual decent talent: .gov is a sheltered workshop for second-rate talent (at best).

    For the record, my first post-high-school training (in 1982) was as an electronics tech working for the Australian Army (Signals corps), specifically on their cipher gear. Anyone who thinks that bureaucratically-designed crypto will not be embarrassingly incompetent, doesn’t understand bureaucracy (and especially defence bureaucracy). As they say, a giraffe is a horse designed by a committee: Defence is probably extra-keen to ensure that the public doesn’t figure out that its crypto is as bad as WEP or NTLM.

  • Yuri Sanson

    Where are the source of this?
    ERROR 404

  • mak_th

    Well in case anyone was wondering how Australia can loose out on the trillions of dollars in the technology industry over the next 30-40 years alone, look no further.

    They do seem to desperately need a better set of politicians than they currently have.

  • ePik Min

    Welcome back in the Dark Ages, Australia!
    Also… 10 years in prison. Talk about over-reacting…

  • Niall Baird

    What a load of crap. How are we supposed to encrypt passwords or source code?

  • Australia may become the first democracy to make freedom illegal.

  • Kurt Manns
  • deborahjameson

    Sounds a little pointless. We have the Internet and it provides access to any knowledge you need. Making it illegal will only encourage young people to study it. To be honest I doubt this will work. What is more if you are interested and willing to learn it, you can easily study online. It possible to find countless legit paper writing services ready to help students get necessary knowledge and information. Even if they ban all resources, you can still change your IP and find assistance online. These restrictions are bound to fail.

  • Bob Vincent

    This sound nuts to me. Now days it’s easier to study whe you have services like this: http://paidpaper.net/
    You can handle all your work and do good at school.

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  • Christi Jones

    Agree with you

  • Kenneth Cade

    That shouldn’t be so…
    I think encryption is very important in today’s world reality… Besides, you can save your time by using such services , like http://paidessays.blogspot.com and use that saved time for learnng encryption , before it became illegal :)

  • Shazia

    I dont think it will work in this modern era where online education is really easy and then thousands of students taking help in papers, its useless decision i guess

  • Thank you with regards to supplying this kind of excellent facts.

  • I think this prohibition will not work as it should. All use the Internet, it is free from many restrictions. Just look at how many diverse content and services are in the public domain. You can watch a movie that goes in the cinema at the moment – it is free, you can use the services for writing academic papers (such as http://essaysrv.co.uk/), to play casino, etc.. You can do a lot online while in offline this is illegal and punishment will follow.