THE EUROPEAN UNION has done a sensible thing and proposed that end to end encryption be preserved and never be backdoored.
This is the kind of proposal that we at the INQUIRER can get behind. Encryption is an important thing that we value. Unfortunately, various governments take an opposing view and think that they should have their own backdoor access to communications.
The European Parliament's Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs has come to the conclusion that secure is better and has produced a PDF on the subject. It says that fundamental European rights should protect the individual and what they want to keep private.
"Article 7 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union ("the Charter") protects the fundamental right of everyone to the respect for his or her private and family life, home and communications," it says.
"Respect for the privacy of one's communications is an essential dimension of this right. Confidentiality of electronic communications ensures that information exchanged between parties and the external elements of such communication, including when the information has been sent, from where, to whom, is not to be revealed to anyone other than to the parties involved in a Communication.
"The principle of confidentiality should apply to current and future means of communication, including calls, internet access, instant messaging applications, email, internet phone calls and personal messaging provided through social media."
In case you missed it there is a war going on over encryption. Governments believe that backdoors are silver bullets for tackling terrorism, while people who understand technology say that backdoors are a big problem that could undermine everyone's security and ruin the internet for everyone.
Last year the House of Lords stood firm on the bad idea. "Law enforcement and the intelligence agencies must retain the ability to require telecoms operators to remove encryption in limited circumstances, subject to strong controls and safeguards, to address the increasing technical sophistication of those who would seek to do us harm," said Earl Howe, the government's deputy leader in the House of Lords, and minister of state for defence as he flapped about tackling terrorism. µ
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