In September, we noted that officials in the EU were continuing an effort to try to ban end-to-end encryption. Of course, that’s not how they put it. They say they just want “lawful access” to encrypted content, not recognizing that any such backdoor effectively obliterates the protections of end-to-end encryption. A new “Draft Council Resolution on Encryption” has come out as the EU Council of Ministers continues to drift dangerously towards this ridiculous position.
We’ve seen documents like this before. It starts out with a preamble insisting that they’re not really trying to undermine encryption, even though they absolutely are.
The European Union fully supports the development, implementation and use of strong encryption. Encryption is a necessary means of protecting fundamental rights and the digital security of governments, industry and society. At the same time, the European Union needs to ensure the ability of competent authorities in the area of security and criminal justice, e.g. law enforcement and judicial authorities, to exercise their lawful powers, both online and offline.
Uh huh. That’s basically we fully support you having privacy in your own home, except when we need to spy on you at a moment’s notice. It’s not so comforting when put that way, but it’s what they’re saying.
This is the same old garbage we’ve seen before. Technologically illiterate bureaucrats who have no clue at all, insisting that if they just “work together” with the tech industry, some magic golden key will be found. This is not how any of this works. Introducing a backdoor into encryption is introducing a massive, dangerous vulnerability
Attacking end-to-end encryption in order to deal with the miniscule number of situations where law enforcement is stymied by encryption would, in actuality, put everyone at massive risk of having their data accessed by malicious parties.
Introducing a backdoor is introducing a vulnerability – one that anyone can exploit. The good guys, the bad guys and the idiots. There is a long and varied history of exploited backdoors in all kinds of very important stuff (eg the clipper chip, the encryption hardware sold to governments, mobile phone networks, even kids smartwatches, switches, and they’ve all been misused by malicious actors.