A meeting this week between the interior ministers of France and Germany has focused on the issue of encryption and its potential impact on security. French interior minister Bernard Cazeneuve even went so far as to argue that the European Commission (EC) should draft a new law that would require companies to work with the authorities to decrypt secure communications on demand and help track down terrorist suspects. Brian Spector, CEO at MIRACL commented below.
Brian Spector, CEO at MIRACL:
“These proposals wouldn’t just make it easier for governments to spy on their citizens; it would also weaken the very products and standards that we all use to protect ourselves. Successive governments believe that they can manipulate security in such a way that only they can take advantage of that subversion. But this is a fallacy. The same technologies, standards and products are used by everyone, so we either allow everyone to spy on everyone, or prevent anyone from spying on anyone. If we insert vulnerabilities, we weaken security for everyone. The same vulnerabilities used by intelligence agencies to spy on global citizens can also be used by criminals to steal your passwords. We either enable spying – by either governments or hackers – or we defend against it.
Going forward, this kind of mentality will make us all less safe. Quite apart from damaging the products and technologies in question, it can damage trust in the Internet entirely. In order for the Internet to continue to grow, users need to believe that the systems they use online are not part of a government program to spy or snoop on its citizens.”