Privacy Law and Policy Reporter
compiled by Graham Greenleaf
Privacy Commissioner Kevin O'Connor made clear what he thought was the best way to extend privacy protection to the private sector.
As to the most desirable way to provide Australians with comprehensive privacy protection, my preferred option is to expand the jurisdiction of the federal Privacy Act, to the limit of federal constitutional power so far as business, banking and the private sector generally is concerned.
Steve Orlowski of the Commonwealth Attorney-General's Department security division explained that much of the governmental thinking in the encryption area was headed in the direction that the private keys used for secrecy/privacy purposes should be separate from the private keys used for authentication/digital signatures. The reason (obvious when explained) is that although governments have a considerable interest in obtaining access to keys which allow them to decrypt the content of messages, it is fatal to any prosecution for the government to have access to any keys which are used for authentication, because any access immediately prejudices (probably destroys) the evidentiary value of any messages ostensibly sent by a person from the date that the government obtained the capacity to create forgeries.
Telstra's Michael Pickering, in answer to a question, confirmed that Telstra is suing one of providers of `reverse telephone directories' on CD-ROM, for alleged breach of copyright (see <1 PLPR 37> for background). The problem is that they are defending the action.