public authorities "can secretly compel tech companies and individual technologists, including network administrators, sysadmins, and open source developers – to re-engineer software and hardware under their control, so that it can be used to spy on their users. Engineers can be penalized for refusing to comply with fines and prison"... sounds like a nightmare but it is reality in the and eff.org/deeplinks/2018/12/new-

This is how it (should) work: In the case of Apple’s , would be compelled to silently add new devices to the list apps think you own: when someone sends you a message, it will no longer just go to, say, your , your , and your – it will go to those devices, and a new addition, a spying device owned by the government...

... With messaging systems like , the approach will be slightly different: your user interface will claim you’re in a one-on-one conversation, but behind the scenes, the company will be required to silently switch you into a group chat. Two of the people in the group chat will be you and your friend. The other will be invisible, and will be operated by the government.

bottom line: Don't trust the shiny advertising brochure which tells you about end-to-end encryption, security and privacy if you only get a black box at the end. Only , , and the ability to self host will be able to secure your privacy.

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@bjoern Eh, the fun part is that under the Australian law anyone who runs a computer attached to the internet could count as a telecommunications provider. This means they can be directly served with an assistance notice and compelled to secrecy under threat of jail time no matter whether it's open source, proprietary or federated. The problem and its solution concern the legal situation and I'm not sure throwing shade on the big biz who currently happen to be on our side will help.

@tk But if it is my server, they have to come to me and ask me for a backdoor to spy on me. So at least I know 😉 It is not about "throwing shade on the big biz". Not only since today I'm convinced that Free Software, federation and the possibility to self-host are the pre-condition for freedom and privacy respecting tools.

@bjoern True, and reading it again you weren't really blaming the companies, so not a fair comment from me. Really I'm trying to push back gently against the idea that we can code our way out of all our problems. Self-hosting is a very effective response to untargeted mass surveillance... but for this kind of law, there's no real way to get around it with better software. It kinda sucks.

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