Since many of the big tech services promise end-to-end encryption to their customers, the technology has been the talk of the town. What does this mean for society, and what interests do politicians and other stakeholders have in making end-to-end encryption ineffective? Most recently, the UK made headlines with moves to make this effective measure ineffective in protecting basic IT and privacy rights.
Answers to these and other questions are provided by Tresorit communications manager Stefan Killer-Haug and Moritz Stoll, host of German Netzpiloten podcast “Tech & Trara,” in its 128th episode.
Chat control advances too unsubstantiated
This anti-democratic approach is similar to recent attempts in the European Union (EU) to chat control, and it is neither appropriate nor proportionate. After all, this is about protecting vulnerable groups online, which Tresorit supports too. Such an encroachment on fundamental rights would therefore have to have clear limits and shouldn’t go beyond the target.
The consequences for our Internet society and economy would be severe. Relevant organizations such as the German Children's Association and Innocence in Danger e.V. are also struggling to find clear positions.
3 Arguments against chat control and the like
According to Tresorit CISO Szilveszter Szebeni, the proposals from parts of the EU and the UK are not well-founded enough. Moreover, they do not fully map IT security options. In this regard, policymakers could, for example, hold platform providers accountable and require appropriate admin functions for parents and guardians.
Here are three arguments against the pushes as outlined in chat control and "Online Safety Bill" drafts:
- The possibility of a backdoor for both private and professional chats may feel progressive to authorities. However, it would likely lead to citizens shying away from any digital communication and a loss of digital trust.
- Instead of introducing a general control of communication, providers should create digital safe spaces for everyone using functions and authentication procedures familiar from IT administration.
- Regarding chat control, more specifically client-side scanning of encrypted messages, the recent arguments of the EU Committee on Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) should be considered before a decision is made.
Cloud: promote understanding, enhance security
The real world holds places that are secured, for example, by access restrictions. We should also protect children and other vulnerable groups online with such authentication and key-lock measures. Unfortunately, cyberspace still seems to be largely lagging in this regard.
There is one good thing to come out of the current debate about platforms and end-to-end encryption, however: attention has been drawn to the functionalities and, in some cases, the infringement of fundamental rights of the business models behind some common cloud services. This makes podcast formats like "Tech & Trara" even more important for promoting understanding of the technologies - listen in now and learn more about secure cloud use.
Take security seriously
Looking for a secure and trustworthy end-to-end encrypted solution? Tresorit guarantees security with zero-knowledge end-to-end encryption and lets you maintain control over your data with a sophisticated, privacy-focused feature set.