The EU debates the future of encryption, two years after Australia’s controversial messaging law


Date: 27 November 2020. Duration: 27:38

End-to-end encryption in messaging services has been a boon for privacy. In fact, it’s hard to see a downside to the fact that you can send someone your banking details, or medical records or other personal information without having to worry about it falling into the wrong hands. Yet encryption hasn’t been kind to law-enforcement agencies, as criminals embrace secure channels of communication, sidestepping surveillance. Against a backdrop of growing concern over terrorism, some European national governments are now pushing to grant investigators access to encrypted messages, and the European Union appears set to consider regulatory change — despite mounting concerns over privacy. Meanwhile, Australia’s encryption laws are almost two years old, although to date police have left the strongest part of the measures untouched, raising questions about why the legislation was needed in the first place.

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