Interpol to Condemn Strong Encryption
International crime-fighting force Interpol is to condemn the spread of strong encryption because of the protection it gives to child sexual predators.
News service Reuters stated yesterday that Interpol will issue a statement announcing their staunch opposition to strong encryption later today. According to Reuters, word of the announcement was leaked to them by three people who had been briefed on the matter.
According to Reuters’ sources, an Interpol official speaking at the group’s conference in Lyon, France, on Friday said that a version of the resolution introduced by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation would be released without a formal vote by representatives of the roughly 60 countries in attendance.
The resolution will be a bird of the same feather as the joint letter written last month by high-ranking law enforcement officials in the United Kingdom, United States, and Australia.
Reuters’ sources say the 60-strong group of countries will cite the difficulties encryption poses when attempting to catch child sexual predators as grounds for companies to hand over communications to authorities on the presentation of a court warrant.
A draft of the resolution viewed by Reuters stated: “Service providers, application developers and device manufacturers are developing and deploying products and services with encryption which effectively conceals sexual exploitation of children occurring on their platforms.
“Tech companies should include mechanisms in the design of their encrypted products and services whereby governments, acting with appropriate legal authority, can obtain access to data in a readable and usable format.”
Commenting on Interpol’s allegedly imminent announcement, Jake Moore, cybersecurity specialist at global cybersecurity firm ESET, said: “While any move aiming to protect children from predators online is of course welcome, privacy still needs to be at the core of the internet’s make-up, and this proposal puts that under threat. Allowing encryption to be unlocked essentially undermines its whole purpose; past breaches should teach us that so much personal data can and will be leaked.
“Blaming tech companies on strong encryption isn’t the answer and if anything, these companies are leading the way in making data more secure and private. I understand that the police see complex encryption as a challenge, but there are other methods of tackling this challenge without endangering privacy.”