Australia tries to ban crypto research

While the world is laughing at UK PM David Cameron for his pledge to ban encryption, Australia is on the way to implementing legislation that could feasibly have a similar effect.

Moreover, the little-debated Defence Trade Control Act (DCTA) is already law – it’s just that the criminal sanctions it imposes for sending knowledge offshore without a license are being phased in, and don’t come into force until May 2015.

As noted in Defence Report, the lack of an academic exclusion in the law, which passed parliament under the previous Labor government in 2012, could mean “an email to a fellow academic could land you a 10 year prison sentence”.

The control of defence research isn’t new or surprising, and in fact this law was put into place to align Australia’s regime with that of the USA (the International Traffic in Arms Regulations), but the haste with which it was implemented means someone forgot that academic researchers routinely discuss sensitive technologies.

Link (The Register)

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