E.U. And U.S. Officials Are Collaborating to Turn Public Opinion Against Encryption ⇥ globalencryption.org
Among the troubling strategies of those who are threatening the right to privacy, whatever their stated motives, overtly shaping public opinion against encryption is once again rearing its head. Recent media reports state that senior government officials in the US and EU agreed to cooperate on measures to shape public opinion with the goal of legitimising the demands of law enforcement agencies to access encrypted communications. […]
The “reports” link is, unfortunately, a paywalled Politico Pro article, but European Digital Rights published an article concurrent with the GEC’s and summarized the issue so:
The leak meeting report between EU-US Senior Officials on Justice and Home Affairs from March 2023, reveals transatlantic plans to influence public opinion around ‘law enforcement’s legitimacy to investigate’ encrypted communications and on ‘the need to mirror privacy by design with lawful access by design’. This is an unacceptable clear intention to undermine end-to-end encryption, privacy and confidentiality of communication, which are essential for democratic digital societies.
Many folks in law enforcement and politics seem genuinely confused about the popularity of end-to-end encrypted messaging, like we all just decided to become anarchists or something. That’s not at all the dynamic we’re seeing here. The entire basis of our communications infrastructure shifted in a direction that’s inimical to privacy; encryption is the obvious solution.
It is hard to shake the feeling that law enforcement and intelligence agencies had a brief window into a world where they could endlessly mine the permanent records we are inadvertently creating about all that we do, and they long for that ease again. Now, we have devices which are encrypted and communications which are protected end-to-end. But we must not forget how everything used to be analogue; much of it was ephemeral, and anything written down could be destroyed by burning it.