The Federal Government’s proposed ISP-level filtering may have “unintended consequences” on Australia’s national security, local software player, Ey3, claims.
In an open letter, the independent software vendor (ISV) predicted encrypted Internet traffic would increase significantly if a filter was put in place. This would result from highly skilled individuals circumventing the system through technologies like an encrypted virtual private network (VPN), it claimed.
According to Ey3 director, Luke Elin, increased VPN will spell higher and more difficult workloads for government intelligence agencies monitoring Internet traffic.
He also pointed to a recent user survey conducted by broadband community site, Whirlpool, which found 92.6 per cent of respondents did not support the Internet filter. The website boasts more than 300,000 users, several of which are involved in the ICT industry.
“If only these 300,000 plus technically competent people start routinely using encrypted VPN technology, it will make the already difficult job of monitoring Internet traffic and communication [signals intelligence] for the purpose of Australia’s national security significantly more difficult,” Elin said in the letter. “Modern VPNs are very easy to use with minimal cost – from as little as $100 per year.
“VPNs give users a secure, private and very likely completely anonymous Internet connection, making it virtually impossible [or at least very difficult and resource-intensive] for law enforcement and other authorised agencies to monitor criminal and terrorist-related activities that might be occurring.”
Elin expressed support for Canberra Senator, Kate Lundy’s proposal of a filter with the option to opt-out to avoid mass adoption of encrypted VPN technology.
His comments come off the back of the Federal Government’s decision to release submissions received on its Internet filter discussion paper during a public consultation process.