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Fun: Laws of math don’t apply in Australia?

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New Scientist’s Scare of the Month: From Timothy Revell at New Scientist:

Mathematicians around the world are rushing to check millennia of calculations, as the Australian prime minister Malcom Turnbull has explained that their discoveries aren’t as concrete as we thought.

“The laws of mathematics are very commendable, but the only law that applies in Australia is the law of Australia,” said Turnbull.

Turnbull’s comments came as he proposed a new law to force tech companies to give security services access to encrypted messages. Apps like WhatsApp currently prevent any snoopers from reading your messages using end-to-end encryption, jumbling it up in such a way that only the recipient can de-jumble it.More.

What he really means is that his government plans to read people’s mail.

Take heart: Any system invented by a human being for snooping can be foiled by a system invented by another human being to foil it. Not sure whether that is good news or bad news.

See also: Are robots a theat to democracy?

One Reply to “Fun: Laws of math don’t apply in Australia?

  1. 1
    polistra says:

    Encryption is something of a red herring. If Turnbull thinks it’s crucially important, he’s wrong. The “privacy” advocates are equally wrong in worrying about it.

    Police and spies have always worked mainly on the DIRECTION AND EFFECT of a bullet or message.

    When a bullet comes through your window, the forensics lab is mainly concerned with the angle and velocity so they can determine where the rifle was. The metallic composition of the bullet and the chemicals in the powder are secondary.

    When a message is intercepted, spy agencies are mainly concerned with who sent it, who received it, and what happened when it was received. If they can determine those three facts, the content of the message is effectively known.

    It’s all vectors.

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