Daily Management Review

France and Germany demand to disclose private conversations in messengers


08/25/2016


France and Germany are demanding that European Commission adopts a law that would oblige messengers cooperate with secret services, and provide information about private correspondence of users. This, according to the Interior Ministers of the two countries, would help fight terrorists - active users of such applications.



Kārlis Dambrāns
Kārlis Dambrāns
On Tuesday, Paris hosted a joint conference of Minister of Internal Affairs of France Bernard Cazeneuve and his German counterpart Thomas de Maizière. Among other things, the Ministers urged the European Commission to make messengers cooperate with authorities and disclose correspondence of those who might of interest to the security services. This should supposedly help countries in the fight against terrorists who are actively using mobile messengers.

As an example, Mr. Cazeneuve mentioned Telegram messenger, because of which the French intelligence services supposedly were not able to prevent acts of terror. This application, owned by Facebook, encrypts all user data, because of what the European intelligence services cannot gain access to correspondence of criminals. "Messages that users send to each other via applications such as Telegram must be deciphered and used by judges and investigators as subjects of trials," - said the French minister. Therefore, Mr. Cazeneuve and Mr. de Maizière called upon the European Commission to develop a bill that would make all operators of such services to cooperate with the authorities, and to disclose all necessary information. "If such a law is passed, it will impose obligation on operators who do not want to cooperate at the European level", - said Mr. Cazeneuve. 

The European Commission Franco-German initiative has already been supported. The proposal can be considered in the near future, and is likely to go down in a package of security and privacy standards for online services, to be published in September. "Security is a national prerogative, but creation of a legal framework at European level will help EU Member States with implementation of their mission to ensure security of our citizens", - Reuters quoted Natasha Bertaud, spokesperson for the European Commission.

However, supporters of personal data protection did not stay idle. They wrote a letter to Le Monde saying that this measure would affect average users rather than terrorists: "How can we prevent terrorists from creating their own encrypted application and, as a result, enjoying a higher level of security compared to those users who have nothing to hide", they said. 

source: reuters.com






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