see url: https://protonmail.com/blog/eu
On Dec. 14, 2020, the Council of the European Union, which is made up of government ministers from the 27 EU member countries, released a vague, five-page resolution that calls for new rules to govern the use of encryption in Europe.
The resolution, titled “The Council Resolution on Encryption,” is non-binding and does not provide any specifics for new laws or regulations and, on the surface, seems fairly innocuous. But it represents a significant shift in tone and puts pressure on the European Commission to propose anti-encryption legislation in the near future.
This resolution justifies the need for new rules on encryption by stating, “law enforcement is increasingly dependent on access to electronic evidence to effectively fight terrorism, organized crime, child sexual abuse (particularly its online aspects).” It calls on tech companies to find technical ways to bypass encryption so that police and security agencies can quickly access a suspect’s messages or device.
Something must be done to address the blight of pedophiles and terrorists coordinating online, but weakening encryption is not the solution. Pressuring widely used services, like WhatsApp or ProtonMail, to have a backdoor in their encryption would not prevent criminals from creating their own encryption services, as happened in 2019 when it was discovered that drug traffickers had started their own company adding aftermarket encryption to Android smartphones. Tackling these issues requires increased funding for law enforcement agencies and the adoption of more effective policing policies.
Not only does weakening encryption fail to address these issues, it is counterproductive. The “technical solutions” this resolution calls for would instead put citizens’ private data at risk, reduce the overall security of the internet, and enable potential government mass surveillance.
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