You may of read our previous blog about Whatsapp having end-to-end encryption in their latest update. (if not you can read it here). There have been discussions that have taken place about the level of privacy that it provides. The EU has proposed that it shouldn’t be as secure as it is, and that it should be banned across Europe.
With the end-to-end encryption, it keeps a conversation strictly private between the sender and the recipient. Even Whatsapp aren’t able to see the messages that get sent back and forth. This is why the EU are considering banning this in Europe, as there are concerns over terror plots and attacks. You can certainly understand that people need privacy and that’s a top priority, but is there ever such thing as too much privacy?
Why is end-to-end encryption being discussed?
The European Union want it to be banned so that it makes it easier for the police to obtain data to investigate cases that are seen as a threat, and also to gain access to conversations that may give them particular leads to crimes that they are investigating. At the moment, because of the encryption it is extremely hard for the police to access conversations from Whatsapp, which makes their job harder when they can’t get to potential evidence.
Many of you will remember the London Bridge attack earlier on this year. This is a prime example of why encryption should be banned; because the attacker used Whatsapp before he carried out the attack and so police were stuck when it came to accessing the conversations he had with others.
So far this is just a discussion that could become a stage of action for the European Union as it will need to be approved by Parliament, and then reviewed by the EU Council. There could be ways to soften the proposal but that will be covered if and when the discussion takes place.
From a technological perspective, the privacy on technological devices is becoming more and more secure. This can be seen as a good thing as it can reduce the risk of hackers being successful getting in to software and holding it ransom, but at the same time it can hide a lot of crucial information. It’s not just the data being private for everyone else’s sake, children are also becoming more active online and there are various dangers that can be exposed to them.
What do you think?
There are many pros and cons to every subject and privacy and security is a hot topic that is constantly being discussed everywhere. But what is your opinion on the matter? Do you want this rule to be passed or rejected? You can tweet us and discuss with us your opinions!