Germany's New Government Promises To Support End-To-End Encryption And Reject Backdoors

from the finally-someone-is dept

A bit of welcome news as the war on encryption continues around the globe. Germany’s new government has said that it plans to come out more strongly in favor of end-to-end encryption and against backdoors. According to a report in Euractiv:

According to Jens Zimmermann, the German coalition negotiations had made it ?quite clear? that the incoming government of the Social Democrats (SPD), the Greens and the business-friendly liberal FDP would reject ?the weakening of encryption, which is being attempted under the guise of the fight against child abuse? by the coalition partners.

Such regulations, which are already enshrined in the interim solution of the ePrivacy Regulation, for example, ?diametrically contradict the character of the coalition agreement? because secure end-to-end encryption is guaranteed there, Zimmermann said.

Introducing backdoors would undermine this goal of the coalition agreement, he added.

?What is sometimes proposed in the ePrivacy Regulation goes far beyond what we envisage in terms of vulnerability management,? Zimmermann told EURACTIV, adding that implementation would ?mean actively creating vulnerabilities.?

This is certainly good to see, but it’s also important to have a country with as much clout as Germany standing up and saying this. Indeed, Zimmermann is also quoted as saying that the new German government plans to take a more vocal and proactive role on this issue.

Unfortunately, not all of the new coalition government’s views on the internet appear to be as good or as helpful. The same article also notes that while some parts of the new governing coalition had campaigned on getting rid of Germany’s truly awful NetzDG internet censorship law, the new government does not plan to support such a position, and may, in fact, support a similar EU-wide plan within the Digital Services Act (DSA) which is currently up for debate in the EU.

Germany?s Network Enforcement Act (NetzDG), which has a similar scope to the EU?s DSA and has served as its model, according to Zimmermann, is not without controversy in the country.

The FDP campaigned for its abolition during the Bundestag election campaign because, according to the liberal party, it encroached too much on civil liberties.

But Zimmermann does not believe the liberal party would drag its reservations on the NetzDG into discussions on the EU?s DSA.

?It is no longer a question of winning any symbolic victories, but we simply have to see that we get a good regulation in the end,? Zimmermann said.

That’s an odd statement that seems to suggest that protesting the disastrous and censorial NetzDG is “symbolic.” It’s not. It’s a terrible law that has been abused repeatedly and should be ditched entirely, not spread to the EU.

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Comments on “Germany's New Government Promises To Support End-To-End Encryption And Reject Backdoors”

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Anonymous Coward says:

i can only hope that Germany in general will hold at least the anti-backdoor position strongly and indefinitely. then we can get on with planting the idea with everyone else that they can’t possibly hope to compete in the world if they don’t treat encryption like Germany does. Make it the important lowest common denominator, and watch every country sink or race toward it at the behest of business.

Anonymous Coward says:

i’d like to think that it will but cant wait to hear, when caught, what the excuse is for NOT doing what they promised! it is, after all, a govt and they have been known to tell the odd ‘porky pie’ or two! of course, it has to manage to hold off the lobbyists and fuck knows who else on the way to actually getting these promises into being!

Anonymous Coward says:

Good news, Germany leads the EU Re regulation of the Web, online services, its important that governments recognize that encryption is absolutely vital for the security of the Web finance and user privacy
Previous German governments have passed laws that mandate online filters of all content audio video and images which has yet to come into force in the EU

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