NOS: Government is Still Working on a Plan to Weaken Encryption

The government is still working on a plan to weaken encryption in order to decrypt encrypted messages, for example. The NOS reports this today based on sources. Last year, Justice and Security Minister Grapperhaus announced that he was going to investigate the possibilities of accessing encrypted evidence, WhatsApp messages and other "Over The Top" services.

In December it was announced that the minister had also launched an investigation into the effect of encryption on the investigation by the police. Earlier, the European Council had passed a resolution stating that investigative services should have access to the content of encrypted data. According to Grapperhaus, "strong encryption" is important, but at the same time the "adverse effect" of encryption for investigation and intelligence services cannot be ignored.

The Council resolution calls for technical solutions to be sought that will allow authorities to access encrypted data. Grapperhaus argues that this is not contrary to the 2016 government position on encryption. It was then agreed that no restrictive legal measures would be taken with regard to the development, availability and use of encryption within the Netherlands.

Sources inform the NOS that the police, the intelligence service AIVD and the Ministry of Defense, including the military intelligence service MIVD, are pressing for a possibility to decrypt encrypted messages. The services fear that national security will be at stake if that does not happen, according to the sources with which the broadcaster spoke.

A plan by outgoing Minister Grapperhaus to make this possible seemed to be prematurely broken, but officials are still working on this, the sources say to the NOS. The subject will be discussed after the parliamentary elections, the Ministry of Justice and Security confirms to the broadcaster.

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