Civil rights & tech groups warn against EU-US plans to weaken E2EE

06/04/2023 | EDRi

A group of nine digital and civil rights organisations, along with the Global Encryption Coalition (GEC), have spoken out against leaked EU-US efforts to cooperate on turning public perception against encryption. The news comes following leaked notes (summary) obtained by Statewatch relating to a meeting on 24 March between senior EU and US officials.

In response, European Digital Rights (EDRi), Statewatch and seven other civil society organisations published an open letter to the European Commission on 6 April expressing their concern over the "disregard for international human rights standards" regarding end-to-end encryption. In the related blog (main article), Diego Naranjo, EDRi Head of Policy, said: “The leak confirms our fears: the attack on encryption and privacy are also a clear goal of the European Commission’s proposal on Child Sexual Abuse (CSAR). This is extremely worrying and will impact the life and activity of everyone relying on encryption: human rights activists, journalists, young people, marginalised communities and pretty much everyone using WhatsApp or Signal.” 

Meanwhile, the GEC's Steering Committee has released this statement. An extract reads: "This development is a worrying rehash of previous attempts to influence public opinion against encryption, placing the security of the private information of billions of people at risk. The overwhelming benefits of encryption cannot be contested, as is clear from the widespread deployment of encryption by default across the technology landscape. In fact, it is a glaring indication of this reality that discourse manipulation is now being used to undermine it."  

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Encryption, E2EE

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