'1984' style encryption laws will stymie startup growth: founders

Angry members of the country's startup community say the passing of the government's encryption legislation on Thursday will curb Australia's tech export success for decades to come.

The 'Assistance and Access' bill passed the House of Representatives late on the last sitting day of parliament for 2018, after Labor made the surprise decision to vote through the laws without some of its suggested amendments ahead of a review in 2019.

Larger telco companies have warned the laws, which would allow authorities to compel developers to modify systems to access encrypted information, may lead to unintended security flaws.

But smaller IT businesses and startup developers say they will now feel real consequences as they look to launch new businesses.

"We are creating an absolute disadvantage — and it sounds like an epic "Nineteen Eighty-Four' situation," says founder of female-focused technology education startup Girl Geek Academy, Sarah Moran.

In submissions on the legislation a number of smaller internet security and email startups raised concerns about the global viability of Australia's tech sector. Read more

Emma Koehn - Brisbane Times - 7 Dec 2018

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