Terrorism has Germany and France debating the merits of encryption

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email

Germany and France, have requested the European Union draft new laws relating to encryption.

The laws these two nations are requesting would require mobile messaging services (such as Whatsapp and Telegram) to decrypt secured communications on demand and hand the information over to law enforcement. This, the two nations say, would help the fight against terrorism.

Given the widespread use of these types of apps, this request could have implications for the rest of the world.

French interior minister, Bernard Cazaneuve told the Wall Street Journal that encrypted messaging apps “constitute a challenge during investigations.”

Catch 22

This request from the European nations comes on the back of a number of terror attacks, including the recent attack by Isis on a church in Normandy, France.

Historically, the EU has advocated for encryption but after it was alleged that the two Isis terrorists met on Telegram, Germany and France seem to have done an about-turn and started campaigning against it.

The trouble is that once there is a known back door into a service like Whatsapp it gives ammunition to not only law enforcement fighting terrorism, but black hat hackers as well.

Balance, in all things

Both of the nations say that a solution needs to be found which protects the privacy of a user and at the same time allows law enforcement to conduct an effective investigation.

That is the key in all of this, balance. Simply asking the creator of an app or a smartphone to create a back door which could compromise the personal data of millions of users is irresponsible. Similarly, allowing terrorists to freely communicate plans to harm millions of people is just as irresponsible.

It’s a tough call to make and one we should collectively be getting involved in to find a solution.

The European Commission will be presenting new laws on the matters of privacy and security for telecommunication providers in the north’s autumn (our spring) months according to The Hacker News so we won’t have to wait to long to see what the future of encrypted messaging holds.

[Source – The Hacker News] [Image – CC BY SA 2.0 g4ll4is]

Brendyn Lotz

Brendyn Lotz

Brendyn Lotz writes news, reviews, and opinion pieces for Hypertext. His interests include SMEs, innovation on the African continent, cybersecurity, blockchain, games, geek culture and YouTube.