Issue No 6: 20 March 2019



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Cabling Matters: Your Input is Sought

Over the past 18 months, the customer cabling product and installation Standards AS/CA S008:2010 and AS/CA S009:2013 have undergone revision. The two revised draft Standards have now been released for public consultation.  

DR S008_2019 Requirements for customer cabling products applies to cabling products (including cable and related customer equipment) intended for connection to the customer side of the boundary of a telecommunications network.

DR S009_2019 Installation requirements for customer cabling (Wiring rules) applies to the installation and maintenance of fixed or concealed cabling or equipment that is connected, or is intended to be connected, to a telecommunications network, including any cord or cordage, that is connected as fixed or concealed cabling.

The scheduled review of the current editions of the two Standards identified several areas that required revision to cater for technology changes and the significant growth of connected devices in customer premises. In its 18-month revision, the Committee drew upon the most currently available industry information. The revised Standards now align with new Australian safety standards and include new requirements for cabling supporting hazardous voltages and consider the growing application of customer cabling for the delivery of power to remote devices.

Summary of key changes:

  • alignment with the new Australian/New Zealand product safety Standard AS/NZS 62368.1 Audio/video, information and communication technology equipment Safety requirements, particularly in relation to newly introduced energy source classifications (ES1, ES2 and ES3) which will replace the ELV, SELV and TNV terminology;
  • new requirements for cabling supporting hazardous voltages, now classed as ES3. There are now voltage and current limits on ES3 circuits that are provided over generic cabling. Cables used for ES3 generic circuits will have specific conductor, sheath and installation requirements distinct from generic cabling;
  • the growing application of customer cabling for the delivery of power to remote devices;
  • the requirement that both cabling products and the installation of these products are to be fit for purpose;
  • new requirements for the onsite termination of plugs on fixed and concealed cabling, addressing the cabling of a certain type of installed device, such as a surveillance camera or a wireless access point (WAP);
  • alignment with the relevant aspects of the Australian/New Zealand laser product safety Standard AS/NZS 60825.2 Safety of laser products - Safety of optical fibre communication systems;
  • alignment with the National Construction Code (the Building Code of Australia) for cable flammability and fire propagation requirements;
  • new requirements for cabling devices that are designed to be free to move as a part of their operation, examples being pendant outlets, surveillance cameras, medical pendants, articulated monitor/TV wall arm mounts and furniture with movable parts; and
  • updated requirement for pit and access hole products;

The two draft Standards, together with an accompanying background paper and details on how to submit comments, can be found at drafts for public comment.

The public comment period closes at 5:00 pm (AEST) on Friday, 24 May 2019.

Australia's Anti-Encryption Laws Ridiculed on World Stage

Article from: Ry Cozier, ItNews Online

'Not going to end well for anyone'.

Australia’s decision to rush in laws designed to weaken encryption has drawn ridicule from international cryptographic experts at the annual RSA security conference.

Cryptographer Whitfield Diffie, a panel regular at the conference, said that Australia’s laws would not be “productive”.

“I think the problem is roughly this: that it's actually easy to disrupt the use of cryptography by legitimate large scale commercial organisations to make them a lot of trouble, but it's not clear whether those techniques are going to be the same amount of trouble to, for example, terrorists,” Diffie said.

“So I think this is a step that is not going to be productive.”

Diffie ridiculed the basis for the laws, in particular referencing former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s immortal quote that “the laws of mathematics are very commendable, but the only law that applies in Australia is the law of Australia."

“I think he hasn't seen the possibilities,” Diffie told the conference.

“I mean, if you extend his view to cover the laws of physics and the laws of chemistry, then if he outlawed high energy reactions and uranium and plutonium, they can protect themselves from nuclear weapons.

“And I think with the right chemical laws, they can protect themselves from global warming,” he said, to laughter and applause from the audience.

Independent security researcher and fellow regular Paul Kocher joined Diffie in panning the laws.

Kocher, in particular, criticised the laws for making it possible for law enforcement to target individual employees to secretly weaken systems and then not tell anyone, including their own employer, under threat of significant jail time.

“Australia's new law can put developers in prison if they refuse to put backdoors in their products or they tell anybody that they've done it,” Kocher said.

“To me, this is 100 percent backwards.

“If anybody should be going to prison, it's developers who sneak backdoors into products and then don't tell their managers and their customers that they've done it.”

Kocher was also critical of Australia’s ability to keep introduced weaknesses out of the hands of bad actors.

“Secret backdoors are kind of like pathogens, and governments have done a terrible job of managing them,” Kocher said.

“For anybody who had to deal with the NotPetya situation that cost companies somewhere around $10 billion, it was basically the weaponisation of exploits that were leaked from the US National Security Agency.

“I don't think Australia can do a better job than the NSA, so this is not going to end well for really any of us to have this kind of policy being enacted, whether it's in Australia or anywhere else in the world.”

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