The European Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice, and Home Affairs has released draft proposals that would guarantee end-to-end encryption of all digital communications and would specifically ban backdoors that would allow law enforcement to access messaging data.
Amendment 116 in the proposal reads:
When encryption of electronic communications data is used, decryption, reverse engineering or monitoring of such communications shall be prohibited. Member States shall not impose any obligations on electronic communications service providers that would result in the weakening of the security and encryption of their networks and services.
If the proposal becomes law, it would be illegal for any European Union member country to require a company to create a backdoor to encrypted communications. This would include backdoors such as the “GovtOS” the FBI has in the past requested Apple to create to access iPhones allegedly used in crimes and acts of terrorism.
In addition to end-to-end encryption of text communications, the committee also argues that not only does personal information included in any such digital communications need to be protected, but also the metadata included with it, such as phone numbers, website history, time, date, duration and location of phone calls, and more.
The regulations would apply to providers of communication services, as well as the software providers whose apps offer electronic communication and the retrieval of information on the web.
This is merely a draft report, and there is no guarantee the proposals will make it all the way to enforceable law. The UK, which is currently involved in leaving the EU, would, as a result, not be bound by the proposal.