The plans of the EU States to expand digital surveillance in the wake of the recent terrorist attack in Vienna evoke concerns for eco – Association of the Internet Industry.
Klaus Landefeld, Vice Chair of the eco Board, comments:
“Encryption is one of – if not to say the most important – instrument for secure communication on the Internet. It not only guarantees security and data protection, but also strengthens users’ confidence in Internet services. A master key for messenger services would undermine the basic principle of this instrument and consequently make the digital communication of all users less secure. Such a far-reaching infringement, which would counteract IT security and manipulate the existing complex software systems of the operators of messenger services, is disproportionate to the as yet unproven benefits in the fight against crime and terrorism.
Since it would also be impossible to control the circulation of such a master key, the inevitable consequence of the creation of such gateways would be uncontrolled access by countless users and secret services from home and abroad to the communication of EU citizens.
The fight against international terrorism is important, but must not happen at the expense of the security of all users. Rather, the EU States should concentrate their counter-terrorism strategy on weak points which came to light again a few days ago in Vienna, such as the inadequate communication between the various Member States’ authorities and secret services.”
Klaus Landefeld will be a speaker at an online event of the Internet Society, “The Future of Encryption in the European Union”, taking place on 19 November.