Terrorism: will GAFA soon be forced by the EU to make their encryption keys public?

by bold-lichterman

While the terrorist attacks perpetrated in early January in Paris prompted the French government to announce the release of 425 million euros and the creation of 2,680 jobs over three years, the General Secretariat of the Council of the European Union has published January 17, a memo recommending the obligation for Internet and telephone giants to publish their encryption keys. The fight against cyber-terrorism is indeed at the heart of the concerns.

“We need to mobilize the political will to broaden and accelerate the implementation of measures which have already been decided by the Council since June 2013 and to make better use of the existing mechanisms within the European Union, including the strategy EU revision to fight radicalization and terrorist recruitment ”writes the body in this document spotted and made public by the Statewatch civil rights organization.

Interception of certain e-mails, SMS

She believes that the emphasis must be on the long-term prevention of radicalization of individuals and movements, and that one of the means to achieve this would be to empower the police and intelligence agencies to ” intercept e-mails, SMS, chat content …

“Since Edward Snowden’s revelations, Internet and telecommunications companies have started using often decentralized encryption systems making it increasingly difficult or even impossible to legally intercept content by the national authorities concerned. The Commission should be invited to explore the rules obliging internet and telecommunications service companies operating within the EU to provide to competent authorities – under certain conditions set out in national laws and in full compliance with fundamental access rights – access to their communications (ie their encryption keys) ”considers the General Secretariat of the Council of the EU.

He also mentions the control of “decentralized encryption” of companies in general.

Ministerial debate in sight in Brussels

For the moment, the telephone companies and those marketing access to the Internet network have not reacted publicly, but we can imagine that they have recently welcomed this proposal, the confidentiality of exchanges being one of the major concerns. current users of their services, in particular since the revelations of Edward Snowden in June 2013. Apple, WhatsApp, Google, Facebook and company have just started to encrypt the messages transmitted in order to block access to intelligence agencies American, Chinese, English, French, German, etc.

This Council recommendation will be debated behind closed doors next week in Brussels at a meeting of the European ministers concerned.

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