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Secure and confidential communication is a cornerstone of our democratic society and a fundamental prerequisite for a functioning digital economy and society. Trust in our IT infrastructures is essential for Europe’s digital future.

In the view of our experts, academics and IT professionals, all efforts to intercept and extensively monitor chat communication via client site scanning has a tremendous negative impact on the IT security of millions of European internet users and businesses. Therefore, a European right to secure communication and effective encryption for all must become a standard.

Europe has a right to secure communication and effective encryption

The confidentiality and security of digital communication are essential for our society. Not only does democratic discourse thrive on a free exchange of opinions, but our economy also needs secure communication. Freedom of information is a valuable asset and is enshrined in Article 11 of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights.

The European Commission has been considering plans to monitor all communications content, which would contravene these important democratic and economic goals. The Commission has not formally committed itself yet. However, the planned monitoring of all communication content without a specified reason in order to facilitate the investigation of crime means either the decryption of all encrypted messages by the service providers or the circumvention of end-to-end encryption through automated and mass “client side scanning” (CSS) on the end devices of the users.

On the initiative of the German Informatics Society (GI), CEPIS has published an open letter calling on the European legislative bodies not to undermine the right to a strong and effective encryption for all EU citizens, companies and institutions. In addition, providers of communications services must be obliged to provide EU citizens with a secure ICT infrastructure. We also call for an end to all activities that weaken and circumvent encryption, as they expose the security of all EU citizens and our economy to enormous risk.

This letter has also been sent to the European Commissioners Margrethe Vestager and Thierry Breton, MEP and rapporteur for the DSA Christel Schaldemose, State Secretary for Digital Transformation of France Cedric O, and the Permanent Representative of France to the Council of Europe Marie Fontanel.





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