EU-Commission Draft Report Seeks to Protect Encrypted Communications

EU-Commission Draft Report Seeks to Protect Encrypted Communications

The UK government calls clashes with the European Parliament draft to allow access to encrypted messaging platforms like WhatsApp and others. The EU draft report sites inconsistency in amending and keeping pace with the advancing technology of the 2002 regulation on ePrivacy. The focus by the European Parliament is to deal with over-the-top (OTT) services which imitate the conventional communication systems, such as landline telephones which had little privacy, although their regulation and protection is different. 


The UK government's Concern on Encrypted Communications

The UK government is focused on having access to encrypted communications like end-to-end encryption (E2EE) which are used by platforms like WhatsApp and Signal and keep private messages away from a third-party. This focus aims at retrieving data which could be essential in tracking down criminals like terrorists. The UE draft proposal is, however, against any intruders to private messaging encryption for safe and guaranteed end-to-end encryption of data to users. 


Key Points on the EU Draft Report

The EU draft proposal categorically states that the aim of the Regulation is to adopt additional and complementary standards rather than lowering the standards from the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The report also makes it clear that interference of data, whether in transit or at rest, is prohibited. This veto means that the UK government, or any other security body for the matter, has no right to tap on encrypted communications while people are conversing or retrieve data after transmission is complete. 

Processing of communications data by service providers, according to the draft report proposal, is strictly prohibited and can only take place with permission from the Regulation to do so. Service providers are not permitted to anonymise data which is no longer needed, but rather they should delete it entirely from their databases. 

According to the proposed ePrivacy laws, the move is intended to protect users, while the govern net and other bodies mandated with cyber security are on the receiving end regarding their freedom of interference with encrypted communications.

Date: 13 July 2017, 9:03 am
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