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Sunday, July 25, 2021

Crypto Wars: Threema, Tutanota & Co. warn of encryption backdoors

In a joint statement, the companies call for end-to-end encryption. Back doors and secure encryption are mutually exclusive.

The four technology companies Threema, Tutanota, ProtonMail and Tresorit criticize the resolution of the EU Council of Ministers to introduce crypto backdoors. These back doors are not compatible with the principles of end-to-end encryption. The resolution is based on a reduced technical understanding of encryption technology and endangers the data security of companies and end users. The software companies take the European Data Protection Day as an opportunity to take a stand in the debate about the introduction of backdoors.

The European Data Protection Day is celebrated annually on January 28th. He refers to the European Convention No. 108 “Convention for the Protection of Individuals with regard to Automatic Processing of Personal Data” , signed in 1981 by the Council of Europe.

The controversial resolution declares encryption technology to be a suitable means to protect sensitive data, but at the same time demands security authorities to grant access to encrypted data in plain text. Software companies that enable customers to communicate with end-to-end encryption would in this case be forced to integrate a back door into their products, for example.

In the joint statement , the companies that offer encrypted communication in their products sharply criticize these efforts and point out that “from a technological point of view, it is impossible to provide access to end-to-end encrypted content without security endanger the entire system. ” Istvan Lam, co-founder of Tresorit, warns: “This resolution would seriously undermine the increasing trust of private individuals and companies in end-to-end encrypted services. Especially with regard to the otherwise very progressive stance of the EU on data protection, the new resolution is alarming”.

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