EU Ministers Recognise Importance of Encryption to Ensure Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms

BY Heather Greenfield
November 20, 2017

Brussels, BELGIUM — The General Affairs Council today adopted Conclusions calling for the strengthening of European cybersecurity across the EU.  Importantly, the Conclusions confirm “that strong and trusted encryption is highly important for properly ensuring human rights and fundamental freedoms in EU and for public trust in the Digital Single Market.”  However, they also note “the need of law enforcement authorities to access data necessary for their investigations.” The Conclusions encourage the EU and its Member States to continue working “to address the challenges posed by anonymising technologies while keeping in mind that strong and trusted encryption is of high importance to cybersecurity and for the trust in the Digital Single Market.”

European Ministers reiterate the EU’s support for “the right to freedom of expression, access to information”, which the Computer & Communications Industry Association has long warned are being weakened under the EU’s copyright review.  The documents takes a step in the right direction on coordinated vulnerability disclosure, as encouraged by CCIA.

The following can be attributed to CCIA Europe’s Vice President, Christian Borggreen:

“We welcome the confirmation that strong encryption is key to ensure human rights and fundamental freedoms in the EU and for public trust in the Digital Single Market.”  
“We worry that the EU’s support for ‘the right to freedom of expression [and] access to information’ is currently being weakened by the new monitoring requirements in the EU’s copyright review.”

For media inquiries, please contact Heather Greenfield at hgreenfield@ccianet.org

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