It's Christmas come early this week for hackers, organised crime and terrorists, with Labor caving in and agreeing to pass the government's encryption backdoor bill, with some modifications. It's the same story that we've seen repeatedly in the last five years: the government demands the passage of outrageous abuses of basic rights and common sense that even the Howard government, in the wake of 9/11, never tried to introduce, and Labor, after an initial pretence of judicious consideration, agrees.

The result -- if the legislation works the way the major parties want it to work -- will be government-approved malware being released into the wild by IT companies, to be harvested by criminals, foreign governments and anyone looking to circumvent the encryption that safeguards our privacy and ability to undertake commerce online, and which protects companies from commercial espionage. All in the cause of identifying terrorists -- all of whom, as we keep seeing time and time again, are already known to security agencies.