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Security instead of Surveillance: There is no such thing as a “partial backdoor” to end-to-end encryption!

On November 9, 2020, the Austrian National Service Broadcaster (ORF) published a secret draft of a planned EU Council resolution seeking to undermine encryption. Messaging services such as Whatsapp are to allow governments to de-crypt and intercept secure online communications. [1]

The proposal stands in line with regular attacks by governments on the secure encryption of content, made under the guise of the fight against organized crime and terrorism.

Patrick Breyer, Member of the European Parliament for the German Pirate Party explains: “Contrary to what governments would have us believe, we have to choose between interception and security. Those who want to sacrifice secure encryption in order to enable eavesdropping will destroy the protection of private secrets, business secrets and state secrets, and open the door to mass-spying by foreign intelligence services as well as hacker attacks. There is no such thing as a ‘partial backdoor’ to online communications. The security of all our communications must be given priority. This has been the clear position of the European Parliament since 2017.” [2]

The backdrop of this latest proposal was last week’s terrorist attack in Vienna. The offender had long been known to the national intelligence services. Breaking end-to-end encryption would not have prevented the crime from happening.

[1] https://files.orf.at/vietnam2/files/fm4/202045/783284_fh_st12143-re01en20_783284.pdf

[2] https://www.europarl.europa.eu/doceo/document/A-8-2017-0324_EN.html

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