One of the most disturbing things about the Assistance and Access Act is that it apparently authorizes the Australian government to compel someone subject to its laws to surreptitiously take actions that harm our customers’ privacy and security without revealing that to us. Would an Australian employee of 1Password be forced to lie to us and do something that we would definitely object to?
There’s a lot of desperation in world governments as encryption outstrips their previously secret capabilities. They’ve enjoyed feeding at the trough of private data for a decade. Now it’s drying up and the result will be rushed and poorly devised legislation, like Australia’s. Without a course correction, my guess is that Australia will become a country that has no employment in tech firms. The questions raised by Agile Bits highlight problems that I’m sure every major tech company is considering. Can they trust their own employees now that obligations as a citizen are directly contrary to obligations as an employee? I’m looking forward to the “Not made in Australia” badge showing up on webpages.