Australian technology companies, and foreign companies employing Australian staff, may consider liability waivers to reduce their legal risks under the Assistance and Access Bill, also known as the AABill.
I provide an example of an AABill liability waiver below. Is it exaggerated?
Government requests for “patriotic backdoors” may have compromised our technology and your data.
Patriotic backdoors are requested by government under the Australian Assistance and Access Bill. They are technical intercept capabilities that remove electronic protections. They are designed to provide government with access to decrypted data in the context of lawful and targeted intercept activities.
Our products may contain patriotic backdoors that we may or may not know about, because:
- We may have been formally requested by the government to build intercept capabilities;
- The government may have directly conscripted our staff to secretly comply with their requests and we would be unaware of it; and
- Our technology may use third-party components compromised with patriotic backdoors.
Patriotic backdoors may be used to compromise the data you have entrusted to our systems, whether in part or in full. There is a risk of collateral damage with patriotic backdoors. Your data may be at risk, whether you have been the specific target of a government access initiative or not.
We waive all liability for any impact or inconvenience you may incur through patriotic backdoors, whether directly or indirectly. For instance, we take no responsibility when patriotic backdoors are:
- Lawfully exploited by government intended parties;
- Discovered and exploited by unintended parties such as cybercriminals; or
- Impacting in any way the quality or the performance of our services and products.
Please rest assured that we still take the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of your data very seriously.
We constantly review and improve our cyber security measures and we are currently in the process of:
- Re-locating our operations to an encryption-friendly country, where civil liberties and the laws of mathematics are not threatened; and
- Reducing our contingent of Australian staff members to avoid any surprises.