EU Slows Down Police: Decrypting Messages in Apps through Backdoors Violates Human Rights

EU Slows Down Police: Decrypting Messages in Apps through Backdoors Violates Human Rights

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La UE frena a la policía: desencriptar mensajes en Apps usando puertas traseras infringe los derechos humanos

Criminal groups committing offenses worldwide often communicate using encrypted messages to avoid revealing their plans and members involved. To combat this, law enforcement agencies attempt to access this information by using backdoors to decrypt messages and catch criminals. However, the European Union (EU) Court now believes that this practice infringes on human rights.

The EU has been dedicated to establishing a set of rules and laws to prevent corporate dominance while protecting consumer rights. The Digital Services Act (DSA) and Digital Markets Act (DMA) regulate companies such as Amazon and various services while also safeguarding human rights. The aim is to provide greater transparency and privacy.

The EU Court opposes law enforcement’s use of backdoors to catch criminals

Citizens are particularly concerned about the possibility of their data being exposed or stolen online, as this happens frequently, especially during malware attacks or social media hacks. Not long ago, we reported on Meta transferring user data from Facebook to other entities, resulting in a lawsuit from Europe. It seems that our privacy is increasingly exposed, and law enforcement can decrypt messages to catch criminals.

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in the EU is against this practice, stating that decrypting messages by law enforcement using backdoors violates rights. This decision may thwart the European Commission’s plans.

Decrypting messages on apps like Telegram may not be achievable

The Commission aims to require email and messaging service providers to develop backdoors that allow message decryption. Although this idea might be useful in fighting criminal organizations, apps like WhatsApp and Telegram have end-to-end encryption. Telegram refused to decrypt messages and insisted that providing such information to authorities would affect user privacy.

This refusal resulted in a fine for Telegram and the app being blocked in Russia to prevent the free flow of encrypted messages and potential criminal organizations. The Russian Government told the ECHR that allowing police access to messages sent by Telegram did not mean they would be exposed to everyone. The intention was to discreetly use this information solely to uncover criminal activity.

Amid this, there was support for those defending privacy and siding with Telegram in not revealing information. Ultimately, the ECHR ruled that rights were being violated, and law enforcement will need to refrain from using backdoors for this purpose. Furthermore, Europol and the EU Agency for Cybersecurity (ENISA) have advised law enforcement to abandon efforts to break encryption and focus on accessing communication systems as they have always done.

The EU’s decision to prevent police from decrypting messages in apps using backdoors infringes upon human rights.

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