European Court of Human Rights declares backdoored encryption is illegal


The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has ruled that laws requiring crippled encryption and extensive data retention violate the European Convention on Human Rights – a decision that may derail European data surveillance legislation known as Chat Control.

The Court issued a decision on Tuesday stating that “the contested legislation providing for the retention of all internet communications of all users, the security services’ direct access to the data stored without adequate safeguards against abuse and the requirement to decrypt encrypted communications, as applied to end-to-end encrypted communications, cannot be regarded as necessary in a democratic society.”

The “contested legislation” mentioned above refers to a legal challenge that started in 2017 after a demand from Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) that messaging service Telegram provide technical information to assist the decryption of a user’s communication. The plaintiff, Anton Valeryevich Podchasov, challenged the order in Russia but his claim was dismissed.

Read more…