08 Dec 2016

PRESS RELEASE - Industry reaffirms commitment to work with law enforcement authorities, cautions against weakened encryption and data localisation

PRESS RELEASE - Industry reaffirms commitment to work with law enforcement authorities, cautions against weakened encryption and data localisation

In a letter sent to Member States ahead of a meeting of EU Justice and Home Affairs Ministers in Brussels, the digital technology industry voiced its continued support for improved cooperation between digital service providers and law enforcement authorities in instances where criminal investigations require access to evidence in cyberspace.

“Our industry shares Member States’ objective of improving cooperation with national authorities to address criminal threats in cyberspace. As responsible stewards of the information of enterprises and customers, we believe facilitating law enforcement authorities’ access to needed evidence can be achieved without the weakening of encryption or requiring localization of data. In choosing measures to facilitate the work of law enforcement authorities, we must ensure we do not undermine consumer privacy and the overall integrity of software and communications networks” said Thomas Boué, BSA Director General, Policy – EMEA.

“Our member companies take very seriously their obligation to work with law enforcement agencies as well as their obligation to protect customer data from unauthorised access. We welcome the progress achieved by the European Commission to date and believe a clear acceptance of a rule of law, that authorises data access only in defined and limited circumstances, subject to proper safeguards, is the best way to enhance trust, enable law enforcement activity, and at the same time preserve the interests in privacy and confidentiality,” said John Higgins, Director General of DIGITALEUROPE.

Justice and Home Affairs Ministers will meet today and tomorrow to discuss the progress achieved by the European Commission in implementing the June 2016 Council conclusions on improving criminal justice in cyber space. The Slovak Presidency of the Council will also inform Ministers on the outcome of its survey on the challenges for criminal justice in relation to the use of encryption. A Franco-German proposal to improve cooperation between electronic communication service providers and law enforcement authorities will also be discussed.

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