Euro MPs back end-to-end encryption for all citizens

Euro MPs back end-to-end encryption for all citizens

A European Parliament committee wants end-to-end encryption to be enforced on all forms of digital communication to protect European Union (EU) citizens.

The draft legislation seeks to protect sensitive personal data from hacking and government surveillance.

EU citizens are entitled to personal privacy and this extends to online communications, the committee argues.

A ban on "backdoors" into encrypted messaging apps like WhatsApp and Telegram is also being considered.

Encryption involves digitally scrambling a communication to protect its contents, and then using a digital key to reassemble the data.


End-to-end encryption means the company providing the service does not have access to the key, meaning it cannot "listen in" to what is being shared - giving the sender and recipient added confidence in the privacy of their conversation.

"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," said a draft proposal from the European Parliament's Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice, and Home Affairs.

The proposal seeks to amend Article Seven of the EU's Charter of Fundamental Rights to add online privacy and will require approval by the European Parliament and the European Council before it can be passed into law.


"There are lots of existing techniques law enforcement can use," Dr Steven Murdoch, a cyber-security researcher in the department of computer science at University College London told the BBC News website.

"One of them is traffic analysis, which is looking at patterns of communications, eg who is talking to who, when and from what location.

"The other one is hacking - equipment interference in British law - which can happen before data is encrypted and after it's been decrypted, so there are still ways for law enforcement to gain access to information."

In the Manchester, Westminster and London Bridge terror attacks, the perpetrators were already known to UK security services, Mr Murdoch added.

"They were not stopped because there were either insufficient resources or the resources were not sufficiently prioritised," he said.

"The suggestions being considered by the UK government would be worse for computer security. So much of people's lives are now carried out online. We should have privacy online just as we have offline."



Add Comment

all comments

  Other news

more
Ant and Dec’s Ant McPartlin moves mum in following rehab stint as he admits marriage to wife Lisa Armstrong is 'under strain'

Ant and Dec’s Ant McPartlin moves mum in following rehab stint as he admits marriage to wife..

19-Aug, 09:20

The Saturday Night Takeaway host recently left rehab after receiving...

Russia knife attacker wounds seven in Surgut

Russia knife attacker wounds seven in Surgut..

19-Aug, 06:51

Seven people have been wounded in a knife attack in the Russian city of...

Buying a home? Strategies for lowering your closing costs

Buying a home? Strategies for lowering your closing costs..

19-Aug, 15:36

Image source: Getty Images. Buying a home is likely to be the biggest...

Binky Felstead's baby India is the cutest playing with daddy – see the snap!

Binky Felstead's baby India is the cutest playing with daddy – see the snap!..

19-Aug, 12:00

by Sophie Hamilton Born in Chelsea Star Binky Felstead has shared the...

Tesla provides first look at cheaper Model 3 sedan

Tesla provides first look at cheaper Model 3 sedan..

09-Jul, 14:13

Electric automaker Tesla has produced its first Model 3 sedan, a highly...

Sports Bra Science: Can You Go Jiggle-Free?

Sports Bra Science: Can You Go Jiggle-Free?..

01-Mar, 01:38

In search of the perfect sports bra? You're not alone. And the bustiest...

New ads target House Republicans for supporting GOP health plan

New ads target House Republicans for supporting GOP health plan..

11-Apr, 10:32

A liberal organization is targeting a group of centrist House Republicans...

Immigration judge frees Mexican activist US trying to deport

Immigration judge frees Mexican activist US trying to deport..

09-Jun, 20:21

A Mexican woman was released from custody Friday while the U.S....