I’m not Australian, but I can’t help putting in my two (US) cents’ worth on the current debate over the “Assistance and Access Bill.” My point is that the bill has no teeth since it is possible for any citizen (terrorist or not) to use encryption that the bill will never be able to control. It has been possible for years and will remain so for the foreseeable future. So might as well drop the bill and do some productive business.
I am, of course, referring to PassLok and its derivatives, which currently include (links below):
- PassLok Privacy, a standalone web app that will run from your machine even if there is no network. Once you got it once, you got it forever. It does not need any service provider to be transmitted.
- PassLok Privacy extension for Chrome and Firefox, served by the respective web stores. You can also load it from file, although this will kill its ability to sync across computers.
- PassLok for Email, an extension for Chrome and Firefox, which can be loaded in the same way as number 2 above.
- PassLok Privacy for Android, served by the Google Play store. You can also get the .apk file and load it directly if you so wish. There was also an iOS version of it that got discontinued due to Apple’s hostility to anything that doesn’t make money, but is fully functional if you still have it.
The proponents of the bill might be upset at the fact that the program could conceivably be used by terrorists. But there is no reason to fear because its End User License Agreement specifically prohibits this kind of use.
Now, taking my tongue out of my cheek, let me add that the Australian bill is going to have exactly the same impact on PassLok as the EULA paraphrased above. There is no service provider to pester, no accounts to freeze, no registered entity to be served subpoenas, notes, letters, or requests. The code is stored in multiple servers around the world, mostly outside of Australia (or the US, for that matter).
Here are the links:
- PassLok Privacy: https://passlok.com/app https://github.com/fruiz500/passlok https://passlok.site44.com https://autistici.org/passlok
- PassLok extension: Chrome: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/passlok-privacy/epcchpdljafmfegifkigklfcmkphfmbh Firefox: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/passlok-privacy/
- PassLok for Email: Chrome: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/passlok-for-email/ehakihemolfjgbbfhkbjgahppbhecclh Firefox: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/passlok-for-email/
- PassLok for Android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.fruiz500.passlok
Is PassLok any good? Well, you should try it and see for yourself (except, of course, if you are a terrorist or any kind of criminal). If you are looking for what others have said, here’s a couple articles:
lifehacker.com “PassLok Simplifies Email Encryption so Anyone Can Use It”
makeuseof.com “PassLock (sic): Easy Email Encryption for Everyone”