SecurityBrief Asia logo
Asia's leading source of cybersecurity and cyber-attack news
Story image

Five Eyes nations want legal access to backdoors to fight 'illegal content'

FYI, this story is more than a year old

New Zealand, Australia, the United States, Canada, United Kingdom (Five Eyes) plus India and Japan have this week declared their support for end-to-end encryption - but only if they have a way to legally access that information.

Signatories from each country, including New Zealand's Minister of Justice - Minister Responsible for both the GCSB - SIS, Andrew Little,  declare that encryption is an ‘existential anchor of trust in the digital world', and countries shouldn't try to find ways to exploit that security.

Instead, there should essentially be legal backdoors that law enforcement can use to clamp down on illegal content - so long as these backdoors have the appropriate safeguards and oversight.

They argue that encryption can make the enforcement of public safety difficult, particularly when it comes to serious problems like child exploitation.

They cite research from the WePROTECT Global Alliance - a coalition of countries, tech firms and civil society firms - which claims that public social media and communications platforms are the most-used ways of grooming and meeting children online.

The WePROTECT Global Alliance 2019 Global Threat Assessment claims that in 2018, the US National Center of Missing and Exploited Children found that the Facebook Messenger was used in almost 12 million of the 18.4 million reports of child sexual abuse material.

"Measures to increase privacy – including end-to-end encryption – should not come at the expense of children's safety," the signatories state.

As such, they believe the industry should reconsider encryption that blocks any kind of legal access to content.

They believe that technology companies and service providers should also take responsibility for detecting and responding to violations, especially regarding the most serious illegal content like exploitation and abuse, violent crime, and terrorist activities.

Encryption, they argue, undermines these responsibilities and prevents law enforcement from accessing content in cases where it is lawful and necessary.

This is not a new stance - in July 2019, Five Eyes nations strongly recommended that tech companies should provide access to data in a 'readable and usable format' to governments that are acting with appropriate legal authority - all whilst encouraging user safety and taking action against illegal content.

The signatories say that they are committed to developing ‘reasonable' ways of protecting privacy, enabling technological innovation, defending human rights, and defending cybersecurity.

They also say that it is not the case that public safety needs to compromise these valued, adding that it is possible to protect them with the help of the industry.

There are a few key ways that they suggest legal encryption could be implemented:

  • Embed the safety of the public in system designs, thereby enabling companies to act against illegal content and activity effectively with no reduction to safety, and facilitating the investigation and prosecution of offences and safeguarding the vulnerable;
  • Enable law enforcement access to content in a readable and usable format where authorisation is lawfully issued, is necessary and proportionate, and is subject to strong safeguards and oversight; and
  • Engage in consultation with governments and other stakeholders to facilitate legal access in a way that is substantive and genuinely influences design decisions.

“While encryption is vital and privacy and cybersecurity must be protected, that should not come at the expense of wholly precluding law enforcement, and the tech industry itself, from being able to act against the most serious illegal content and activity online.

Signatories include:

  • New Zealand Minister of Justice, Minister Responsible for the GCSB, and Minister Responsible for the NZSIS, Andrew Little
  • Australian Minister for Home Affairs, Peter Dutton
  • Attorney General of the United States, William P. Barr
  • United Kingdom Secretary of State for the Home Department, Priti Patel
  • Canada Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, Bill Blair
  • India
  • Japan.
Related stories
Top stories
Story image
Malware
Decrease in malware volume, but surge in encrypted malware 
The Q2 Internet Security Report found office exploits continue to spread more than any other category of malware.
Story image
Cloud Security
75% of AU companies had cloud security incident in past year
According to new Venafi research, complexity is due to increase, as companies plan to host more applications in the cloud.
Story image
Work from home
Jamf showcases new products to simplify and secure work
At the 13th annual Jamf Nation User Conference, the company shared how its continuous product innovation is helping organisations succeed with Apple.
Story image
Ransomware
Delinea updates DevOps security, remote access more seamless
New enhancements include development support on the most recent Mac computers and improved secrets' management usability through automation.
Story image
Network Management
Fortinet introduces enhanced AIOps across its gateways
FortiAIOps builds on Fortinet's rich history of developing artificial intelligence to deliver actionable network insights for self-optimising management.
Story image
Kaspersky
Cybersecurity loopholes prevalent in South East Asia
In terms of the share of vulnerabilities with publicly available exploits, three countries out of top five are located in Southeast Asia.
Story image
Cloud
How modern IT architectures are moving beyond network visibility
Dealing with multiple cloud providers makes it difficult to identify security threats and performance bottlenecks and troubleshoot issues.
Story image
IT Training
Six ways to transform your cybersecurity training and influence lasting change
If the goal is to win hearts and minds, formal awareness training can fall short and often doesn’t inspire people to care.
Story image
Ransomware
Absolute recognised in KuppingerCole Leadership Compass 2022
The company's Absolute Secure Access was recognised for its ability to protect users and resources while improving the remote worker experience.
Story image
Ransomware
Commvault unveils early warning system, Metallic ThreatWise
A first among data protection vendors, the new cyber deception service detects and contains ransomware threats.
Story image
Software-as-a-Service
Enterprises yet to fully commit to cybersecurity - CompTIA
“Digital transformation driven by cloud and mobile adoption requires a new strategic approach to cybersecurity, but this poses significant challenges."
Story image
Enterprise
Delinea shares the importance of PAM, partners and security for modern enterprise
Identity-based security is becoming a crucial tool for modern enterprises as they continue to adapt to different working environments.
Story image
Threat intelligence
Trellix advances threat intelligence with new research centre
Trellix has announced the establishment of the Trellix Advanced Research Center to advance global threat intelligence.
Story image
Edge Security
Security practices for modernising the “spaghetti” of on-premises IT
Many organisations are wondering how to securely modernise their workload, often made up of a “spaghetti” of on-premises applications and management consoles.
AWS Marketplace
Whitepaper: A practical guide for mitigating risk in today’s modern applications
Link image
Story image
Phishing
Vectra Protect team finds Microsoft Teams vulnerability
The Vectra Protect team identified a post-exploitation opportunity in August, allowing malicious actors to steal valid user credentials from Microsoft Teams.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Kaspersky updates endpoint detection and response solution
"One of the goals was to make all the solutions capabilities accessible for all types of our users, even those who are making their first steps in EDR."
Story image
Cybersecurity
Hands-on review: Yubikey 5C NFC
Founded in 2007 and specialising in computer and network security, the Swedish company Yubico is now a leader in global authentication.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Aqua Security solution to stop software supply chain attacks
Development and security teams can now proactively address the most critical software supply chain risks from code through runtime.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Ransomware attacks continue to increase, report finds
Nearly a quarter of businesses have suffered a ransomware attack, with a fifth occurring in the past 12 months.
Story image
Security vulnerabilities
Claroty finds seven vulnerabilities in Dataprobe iBoot-PDU
The Claroty research team (Team82) has found seven vulnerabilities in Dataprobe's iBoot-PDU, the company's intelligent power distribution unit product.
Story image
Virtual Private Network
95% of organisation rely on VPN as threats continue - report
There is a growing number of VPN-specific security threats and a need for Zero Trust security architecture in enterprise-level organisations.
Story image
Observability
Virtualisation Security Market to reach over $7 billion by 2032 - report
A new report from Future Market Insights has found that the Virtualisation Security Market is anticipated to reach a valuation of US $7.6 billion.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Confidence in security challenges of hybrid work improving
84% of IT professionals have some degree of confidence in their user access security systems to enable remote work securely and easily, up from 56% in 2021.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Macroeconomic headwinds driving security up priority list
Current macroeconomic headwinds are driving security up enterprise’s priority list and reshaping the hardware Security Module market.
Story image
Malware
Kaspersky uncovers new malicious malware NullMixer
Kaspersky researchers have uncovered a new malware stealing users credentials, address, credit card data, cryptocurrencies, and accounts.
Story image
Firewall
Barracuda tackles intensified threat landscape with latest releases
"The Barracuda XDR solution combines data across our security stacks through a single dashboard view, giving us the visibility we need."
Story image
Cloud Security
CrowdStrike launches new partner program to expand routes to market
"We developed the CPSP program in partnership with GSIs, MDR vendors, MSPs, MSSPs and Telcos to ensure we were meeting their needs and empowering them."
Story image
Malware
Cybereason delivers nation-state level of protection to enterprises
Cybereason has announced new advancements in Cybereason NGAV that deliver nation-state level protection for organisations of all sizes.
Story image
IoT security
Nozomi Networks and WALLIX strengthen OT network security
By combining WALLIX and Nozomi Networks solutions, end-to-end visibility and traceability for maximum security in an industrial environment is provided.
Story image
Cybersecurity
StackHawk launches deeper API security test coverage
Expansion of test coverage includes custom scan discovery, custom test scripts and custom test data for REST APIs.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Employees unsure who to go to to report security incident
A new study shows more than 20% of the untrained global workforce do not know who to contact during a security breach.
Story image
Cryptocurrency
Crypto giveaway scams continue to soar, according to report
There's been a fivefold increase in the number of domains used for crypto giveaway scams that involve fake YouTube streams in the first half of 2022. 
Aws Marketplace
Learn how to implement a backup and recovery plan for a new generation of Kubernetes-based modern applications
Link image
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Ordr improves security and management of connected devices
It has implemented more than 80 integrations within the Ordr Data Lake while adding security enhancements to accelerate zero trust segmentation.
Story image
Secure Code Warrior
Secure Code Warrior announces Coding Labs innovation
Coding Labs mechanisms allow developers to move from learning to applying secure coding knowledge more efficiently, leading to fewer code vulnerabilities.
Story image
Malware
SonicWall threat report mid-year update highlights significant threat variance
The 2022 SonicWall Cyber Threat Report mid-year update from SonicWall gives an in-depth insight into many of the current trends across the threat landscape.
Story image
Cybersecurity
De-risking the innovation cycle – a modern, real-time approach to security
Many organisations see cybersecurity as an inhibitor of innovation, with burdensome protection measures standing in the way of progress and speed.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Test your API Security with Infinite API Scanner
The effectiveness of API scanning technology can mean the difference between successful and unsuccessful programming outcomes, and often enterprises and IT leaders struggle to get it right.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Video: 10 Minute IT Jams - An update from SearchInform
Val Novoselova joins us today to to discuss new trends in the information security space, and how SearchInform is adapting to some of the new trends we are seeing.
Story image
Data Protection
Cloudflare brings Data Localisation Suite to more APAC businesses
This allows any business in these countries to service their data locally while benefiting from the speed, security, and scalability of Cloudflare’s global network.