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European Parliament pushes back on anti-encryption measures

A committee of the European Parliament is pushing back against the anti-encryption sentiment “infesting” governments around the world, with a report saying citizens need more protection, not less, notes the Register. “In a draft report that landed last week, the parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs says data protection in the European Union hasn’t kept pace with the threats, and needs modernisation. New technologies have led to inconsistent privacy protection under the 2002 Regulation on Privacy and Electronic Communications, the committee explains. For example, new over-the-top (OTT) services offer substitutes for existing services, but aren’t subject to the same regulations.” Similarly, the paper says, the current regulations haven’t kept pace with how the machine-to-machine traffic in the internet of things can expose citizens.” Amendment 116 starts: “The providers of electronic communications services shall ensure that there is sufficient protection in place against unauthorised access or alterations to the electronic communications data, and that the confidentiality and safety of the transmission are also guaranteed by the nature of the means of transmission used or by state-of-the-art end-to-end encryption of the electronic communications data.” ‘Backdoors’ are dismissed out-of-hand in the proposed amendment: “Decryption, reverse engineering or monitoring of such communications shall be prohibited” and EU member states “shall not” demand backdoors from communications providers. As the Register item comments: “That's the exact opposite of what Germany's interior minister Thomas de Maizière when he said the country was working on a law to give itself the right to decrypt messages (joining the UK, US and Australia in the belief that safe backdoors are feasible. See more here and read the EP report here.

  • Tuesday, 20 June 2017

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