No middle ground: Moving on from the crypto wars

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Series Details July 2018
Publication Date July 2018
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The ‘second crypto war’ is in full swing. European governments need to stop trying to defeat encryption and get more sophisticated themselves instead.

Summary of key points:

+ Accepting a middle ground or finding a balanced solution on the issue of encryption is neither feasible nor, in fact, desirable.
+ Privacy advocates and security researchers are destined to win the fight on stronger encryption and against key escrow, but they will lose the war on security – and most likely fragment along those fault lines in the not-so-distant future.
+ In Europe, no single vision on how to tackle the challenges created by the rise of encryption currently exists on the political level.
+ Law enforcement agencies in Europe view encryption as one among many other inter-related issues that are undermining their future role.
+ From a European intelligence agency perspective, accepting the degradation and denial of intelligence collection efforts is an unacceptable solution to the encryption problem.
+ A targeted approach, through the build-up arsenals of exploits, is the only alternative to backdoors, key escrow, and obliging companies to weaken encryption.

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Related Link(s)
German Institute for International and Security Affairs: SWP Comments No.47, November 2017: The EU’s Revised Cybersecurity Strategy: Half-Hearted Progress on Far-Reaching Challenges
European Commission / EEAS: JOIN (2017) 450 final (13.09.17): Communication ... Resilience, Deterrence and Defence: Building strong cybersecurity for the EU
EP: EPRS: What Think Tanks Are Thinking, 27.04.18: Cyber-security

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