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Terrorism and encryption: Cazeneuve targets Toward WhatsApp & Telegram

It heats up for WhatsApp and Telegram secure messaging. On Tuesday, Bernard Cazeneuve met his German counterpart to support a European anti-terrorism initiative aimed at limiting encryption. The Minister of the Interior would like to be able to “listen” to the encrypted messaging as he can do with the telephone services. He wants a legislative act at European level.

For example, Bernard Cazeneuve could rely on a European directive that is short to be revised and which could change the status of messaging services like WhatsApp and Skype. It would enable the authorities to oblige them to transmit data in the course of investigations, as is already the case for telecom operators.

Encryption, which protects information systems and the secrecy of communications between transmitters and recipients, is generally defended by specialists in the digital world: the publishers of encrypted software, of course, but also the CNIL and the National Digital Council (CNNum), who co-sponsored a forum in Le Monde Monday to warn of the dangers of backdoors and initiatives aimed at limiting encryption.

“The experts, starting with those of the National Agency for Information Systems Security (ANSSI), are unanimous: it is technically impossible to ensure that such access is available only for the benefit of authorized persons”, Alerts the rostrum.

They are asking the government to “not go wrong”. “Encryption is essential to our security in the digital universe”, and a “major lever of confidence” in the healthcare or banking universe, for example, they explain. On Tuesday, CNNum announced that it would self-seize at the beginning of the school year to “educate the political, social and economic implications of a limitation of encryption”.  Cnil and CNNum add that “encryption is today the best bulwark against economic espionage that caused more than 40 billion euros to be lost to French companies in 2013”, and that “encryption – and fundamental freedoms Which it permits to exercise – constitutes a bulwark against the arbitrariness of the States and protects us against the increasing control of the economic actors in our lives “.

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