If you look at my blog; I do believe this is the first article I've ever written about something political. I tend to be anti-political because I feel like it just divides us and tends to be just complaining with no one actually doing anything meaningful about it.
However two days ago I noticed in the news that the AABill was about to be passed. I had read about it before, but since I'm not Australian (and I don't work in Australia) it really doesn't affect me "personally" right this minute. However, the reality hit me later, that it does affect my friends; and it has a very high chance of affecting all of us in the future. What the Australian government gets away with now; the rest of the "civilized" countries will also attempt to implement someday.
Our own (USA) FBI has been hankering for this power for years; and so far they have been thwarted; the Canadians have thwarted similar issues in their country. Europe; has caved to a lot. So much of what Australia did; they took from Europe. They just went a lot farther. The more nations that cave; the easier it is for the other nations to do the same thing and go farther.
This bill is BAD! So bad, if it was meat it would have to be launched into the sun to actually eliminate the deadly bacteria. If it was a meteor we would all be wiped out instantly.
In a nutshell the bill gives the Australian government the right to require people and/or companies to implement back doors into any systems (web, phones, your apps, banks, encryption, etc).
- No real over sight "Trust us; we won't abuse it..." (I bet they have a bridge to sell us too.)
- Massive mandatory punishments for speaking about the request; to anybody -- even if it is to defend your reputation or job when the back door is found..
- Severe Anti-whistle-blower rules to eliminate anyone attempting to do the right thing, when the government is doing the wrong thing. Trust us we won't abuse it...
- The improbability that the person served with the "backdoor" order can actually bypass the security of any company that is multinational is... well, rather ludicrous. More than like instead it will cause their own termination and potential black balling of the poor developer in the industry since he can't defend himself nor mention why he tried to subvert the software.
- Trying to backdoor anything, is a criminal paradise. We all know that no bad guys ever fine issues in any thing, never happens...
- Backdoored encryption, what a joke.
- What Australian developer (or company) can I now trust with my code, data or hosting?
- Beware of that bridge for sale...
I can go on an on about the terrible things in this bill... Suffice to say; this is a very bad bill and that it has world wide implications.
I posted on twitter that I thought that maybe the internet community should route all the Australian government IP's to a banned page saying that until the bill is repealed they are being segregated to limit any more damage they can generate.
Several people posted they thought that was a good idea. And it dawned on me, all I was doing was still just complaining and offering ideas that nobody would probably do. In all reality I wasn't really doing anything at all.
So I got off my butt; and actually did something. I purchased the domain name internetprotests.com; I then proceeded to setup a simple site. Figured out several blocks of Australian government IP's to be routed to the banned page. Figured out how to make the routing work in both Apache 2.4 and Nginx, and published the site.
I have attempted to start something here; and I cannot do it alone.
If you are a internet provider or you have control over a website. I urge you to check out the internetprotests.com site and become involved. The more sites that blackhole all the Australian Government IP's; the more likely they will be forced to actually repeal the law if they want to be able participate on the internet.
If you don't own any websites; please pass this blog and/or the site around. If you do copy editing, graphics works or technical work; the site is open source and could use more work prettying it up and making it more appealing to the masses and the press. It was built quickly to try and spread the word because the tech world is starting to understand just how bad this law is.
If we can get the law repealed in Australia; then that will make all the other nations have second thoughts about trying it in their nation. Maybe we the people of the internet can actually get our government to listen to us and follow our lead...