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‘We want backdoors to E2E encrypted platforms for law enforcement’: India, Japan, Five Eyes to companies

encryption, cipher

India, along with the Five Eyes intelligence alliance and Japan, wants companies to build backdoors to end-to-end encrypted platforms for access to law enforcement agencies, according to an international statement signed by the seven countries. They have argued that end-to-end encryption poses “significant challenges to public safety”, especially to the safety of “highly vulnerable members” of society like sexually exploited children. The Five Eyes alliance comprises of USA, UK, Australia, New Zealand and Canada. What do they want? The seven nations want companies to: Build backdoors for law enforcement agencies so that they can access content in a readable and usable format with lawful, necessary and proportionate authorisation, and “strong safeguards and oversight”. Act against illegal content and activity without reducing safety and facilitate in investigation and prosecution of offences. The statement calls it “embed[ding] the safety of the public in system designs”. Why do they want backdoors to E2E encrypted platforms? The seven countries have argued that lack of lawful access to such content: Undermines companies’ own ability to identify and respond to violations of terms of service including responding to child sexual abuse material (CSAM), terrorist propaganda, and violent crime. Prevents lawful authorities from investigating serious crimes and protecting national security. Protecting children from sexual abuse and tracing paedophiles is not a new concern. This international statement reiterated USA, UK and Australia’s October 2019 letter to Facebook which said that the previous year, Facebook made 16.8 million of the 18.4 million reports to the US National Center for…

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