Governments don’t appear to understand how end-to-end encryption works. The Australian government demands that tech companies like Apple to give authorities access to encrypted data on receipt of a warrant.
Apple already complies with court orders demanding access to encrypted data where it has the means to do so, when they are satisfied that doing so is legal.
They can however not do this for Messages and FaceTime since these services use end-to-end encryption, so only the recipient device can decrypt the data.
When a user turns on iMessage on a device, the device generates two pairs of encryption private keys for use with the service.
Both key pairs are saved in the device’s Keychain and the public keys are sent to Apple’s directory service (IDS), where they are associated with the user’s phone number or email address, along with the device’s APNs address.
Apple, Dropbox, Evernote, Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Oath, Snap and Twitter, voiced opposition to the “Assistance and Access Bill 2018” in Australia.
The federal Labor party attempted to modify the legislation last week but failed to succeed and allowed the bill to pass and vowed amendments will be reviewed when parliament reconvenes.
Failure to comply would leave the company liable to fines of up to A$10 million ($7.3 million), and potential jail time.