EU-US plan offensive to legitimise police access to data, civil society responds amid growing fears – Press Release

On 6 April 2023, EDRi and 8 partners sent an open letter to the European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and Vice President Margrethe Vestager, as well Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson. Through the letter, the organisations called out the clear and deliberate plans to disregard international human rights standards in the EU-US approaches to security in the digitalised society, in particular in regards to end-to-end-encryption.

By EDRi · April 6, 2023

Clear EU-US plans to attack secure communications

The leak meeting report between EU-US Senior Officials on Justice and Home Affairs from March 2023, reveals transatlantic plans to influence public opinion around ‘law enforcement’s legitimacy to investigate’ encrypted communications and on ‘the need to mirror privacy by design with lawful access by design’. This is an unacceptable clear intention to undermine end-to-end encryption, privacy and confidentiality of communication, which are essential for democratic digital societies.

"The leak confirms our fears: the attack on encryption and privacy are also a clear goal of the European Commission’s proposal on Child Sexual Abuse (CSAR). This is extremely worrying and will impact the life and activity of everyone relying on encryption: human rights activists, journalists, young people , marginalised communities and pretty much everyone using WhatsApp or Signal"

Diego Naranjo – EDRi Head of Policy

Photo of Diego Naranjo

This attack on secure communications comes in direct contradiction with ongoing efforts to strengthen the UN cyber-crime convention in an attempt to fend off external malicious state interference. UN cyber-crime Convention negotiations take place in Vienna next week, and are portrayed by the leak as an opportunity to isolate China and Russia’s internet regulation capacities.

“The leaked conversations between EU and US also show that Europol could become a data-laundering service for sensitive biometric data which could not be lawfully collected under EU law. “

Diego Naranjo – EDRi Head of Policy

More details about the several EU-US initiatives to share “battlefield”, military-produced evidence for use in criminal investigations and immigration proceedings can be found in the full letter.


Read the open letter