FastMail Challenges Australia Encryption Law

Privacy email provider FastMail is losing customers because of Australia’s new anti-encryption laws (via itnews).

[It’s Official: Australia Bans Encryption]


Bron Gondwana, FastMail CEO, told [PDF] the Australian senate committee that the anti=encryption laws are hurting his business.

Encryption backdoor

We have already seen an impact on our business caused by this perception. Our particular service is not materially affected as we already respond to warrants under the Telecommunications Act. Still, we have seen existing customers leave, and potential customers go elsewhere, citing this bill as the reason for their choice. We are [also] regularly being asked by customers if we plan to move.

Bron Gondwana, FastMail CEO

A bill that the country passed lets Australian law enforcement and government agencies compel tech companies to help decrypt user communications. An encrypted email service like FastMail would basically render the service useless, since encryption is the main reason people use it.


Mr. Gondwana reached out to me to provide some corrections to this article. First, he says that FastMail has no plans to leave Australia. Although some customers have canceled their accounts it doesn’t have a significant impact on FastMail’s business.

Second, he points out that FastMail is not designed to be end-to-end encrypted. Data is encrypted on the disk, but it’s never encrypted in a way that they can’t access raw emails or respond to lawful police requests.

Our customers choose us because we care about their privacy and we don’t sell data to third parties.  We charge money in exchange for service and have no hidden client paying the bills.

However, that’s not the only reason people choose us – our customers cite our excellent support team, our streamlined, easy to use interface and our standards compliance as their key reasons to select FastMail.

[Dangerous Australia Encryption Law Passed]

One thought on “FastMail Challenges Australia Encryption Law

  • So, if they move offshore could people still use it? I mean is this a weakness of these anti encryption laws, you just move the service offshore and then people still use it. Of course their messages, mail, saved files, whatever, are located in Tuvalu or Borneo, or someplace like that, but who cares.

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