Photo by Rishabh Varshney on Unsplash

Sorry about the pun-y name. I had to bring some amount of levity to the situation. Let me be straight with you, this is very bad for the entire industry and as technology consumers it is our responsibility to ensure our response is seen and heard loudly.

What’s going on?

Australia’s government has passed a bill called the “Assistance and Access Bill” or #aabill as it’s been called in social media. This bill was rushed through and is heavily criticized due to the unprecedented access it gives the Australian government to data that is considered to be encrypted.

What does that mean?

From today forward, you should consider ALL technology products and services from Australia to be have a backdoor for government access. The back door can be placed by any Australian citizen, and the company itself may not even be aware of its existence. As we all know, any encryption that has a backdoor cannot be in any way trusted, so any data you store with an Australian service or inside of an Australian-made device should be considered COMPROMISED. Obviously, at this point there hasn’t been time for the changes to be implemented and the companies should be mounting their own lawsuits against the law – but the fact stands that it IS THE LAW.

I’m American, I’m not affected!

Believe it or not, you probably use an affected service. At the bottom of this post I’ll list some of the companies I’ve discovered to be based in AU.

So, what am I supposed to do about that?

TODAY you need to reach out to your Australian – based service providers and vendors requesting their public statement on the bill and informing them of your intent to vacate or eliminate their services and products from your life / environment.

Affected Companies

This is not intended to be an exhaustive list, but merely a suggestion as to the scale of this issue. If you find something missing PLEASE add it as a comment or contact me privately to get it added.

  • Atlassian
  • Fastmail
  • Xero
  • Campaign Monitor
  • Freelancer
  • Vend
  • Invoice2Go
  • 99designs
  • Megaport
  • Moodle
  • ContentKeeper (Licenses to Cylance)
  • Seeing Machines – Provides computer vision technology used in products like the 2018 Cadillac CT6
  • MYOB
  • Envato
  • Canva
  • Kounta

Update – 12/6/18 3:05 PM

Update – 12/6/18 3:35 PM

Categories: Semi-Professional


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