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EU wants internet firms to hand over encryption keys
euobserver.com A top EU official wants internet and telecommunication companies to hand over encryption keys to police and spy agencies as part of a wider crackdown on terrorism. The EU’s counter-terrorism co-ordinator Gilles de Kerchove, in a document leaked by London-based civil liberties group Statewatch, says the European Commission should come up with rules that require the firms to help national governments snoop on possible suspects. “Since the Snowden revelations, internet and telecommunications companies have started to use often de-centralised encryption which increasingly makes lawful interception by the relevant national authorities technically difficult or even impossible,” notes de Kerchove in the document. Edward Snowden is a former US intelligence contractor who leaked files on how the US and UK intercept vast amounts of private data in the name of security. The de Kerchove proposal joins similar recent calls made by the US and UK governments to weaken or ban certain forms of encryption. UK prime minister David Cameron, in the aftermath of the Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris, said British intelligence agencies should have the legal ability to break the encrypted communications. His plea was later joined by Obama who said post-Snowden encryption technologies was making it more difficult for spy agencies to crack suspect communications.
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