Brussels, February 18, 2020 – EuroISPA, an association of European Internet Services Providers, coordinates an event today to discuss encryption at the European Parliament together with the European Internet Forum (EIF). With data encryption as the core of its agenda, the event is hosted by MEPs Patrick Breyer and Rasmus Andresen, and gathers industry experts, policy makers, stakeholders, and civil society to discuss the future of encryption and data protection.
EuroISPA, a pan-European association which represents over 2,500 ISPs across the European countries, advocates for the needs of the wider internet industry, particularly in relation to safer internet, cybersecurity data protection, and innovation. Encryption tools are part of the framework which allow internet and online services to be trusted and ensure ongoing cybersecurity and data protection. The absence of encryption weakens this trust, and concerns about illegal activities online have led to debates around the decryption of data for crime investigations and interception of criminal communication.
Dr Maximilian Schubert, President of EuroISPA, stated, ‘In discussing encryption, it is crucial to have an evidence-based exchange of information on the security issues a lack of encryption presents. EuroISPA aims to highlight the crucial role of encryption in enhancing users’ privacy, trust in the internet, and free expression online. Weakening encryption through software backdoors puts these at risk: while such tools might initially help law enforcement to prosecute criminals, in the long run they can potentially be exploited by hackers or even enable mass surveillance. As such, there can be no middle ground in designing online security. We hope that by gathering experts from Europe and afar, this event will help establish a clearer exchange of knowledge around these issues, and highlight both the industry’s and users’ requirements.’
Gathering attendees from across Europe, the event aims to allow for a balanced exchange on the benefits and concerns around the protection of encrypted data. Speakers include, Bert Hubert, Founder of PowerDNS, Cathrin Bauer-Bulst, Acting Head of the Cybercrime Unit, European Commission DG HOME, Ceren Ünal, Regional Policy Manager Europe, Internet Society, and Birgitta Jónsdóttir, Internet Archive Fellow, Electronic Frontier Foundation, as well as EIF members.
‘An effective exchange of ideas and the establishment of priorities should be at the core of policy decisions that impact on the data privacy and cybersecurity of consumers and users, and therefore on their fundamental rights. At EuroISPA, we hope that enabling multilateral discussions will lead to a broader understanding of the implications of data decryption, as well as allowing for an exploration of alternate ways of assisting law enforcement whilst protecting user rights,’ concluded Schubert.