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Industry Reaffirms Commitment to Work With Law Enforcement Authorities, Cautions Against Weakened Encryption and Data Localisation

Brussels – December 8 2016 – In a letter sent to Member States ahead of a meeting of EU Justice and Home Affairs Ministers in Brussels, the digital technology industry voiced its continued support for improved cooperation between digital service providers and law enforcement authorities in instances where criminal investigations require access to evidence in cyberspace.

“Our industry shares Member States’ objective of improving cooperation with national authorities to address criminal threats in cyberspace. As responsible stewards of the information of enterprises and customers, we believe facilitating law enforcement authorities’ access to needed evidence can be achieved without the weakening of encryption or requiring localization of data. In choosing measures to facilitate the work of law enforcement authorities, we must ensure we do not undermine consumer privacy and the overall integrity of software and communications networks” said Thomas Boué, BSA Director General, Policy – EMEA.

“Our member companies take very seriously their obligation to work with law enforcement agencies as well as their obligation to protect customer data from unauthorised access. We welcome the progress achieved by the European Commission to date and believe a clear acceptance of a rule of law, that authorises data access only in defined and limited circumstances, subject to proper safeguards, is the best way to enhance trust, enable law enforcement activity, and at the same time preserve the interests in privacy and confidentiality,” said John Higgins, Director General of DIGITALEUROPE.

Justice and Home Affairs Ministers will meet today and tomorrow to discuss the progress achieved by the European Commission in implementing the June 2016 Council conclusions on improving criminal justice in cyber space. The Slovak Presidency of the Council will also inform Ministers on the outcome of its survey on the challenges for criminal justice in relation to the use of encryption. A Franco-German proposal to improve cooperation between electronic communication service providers and law enforcement authorities will also be discussed.

The letter can be found here.


BSA | The Software Alliance (www.bsa.org) is the leading advocate for the global software industry before governments and in the international marketplace. Its members are among the world’s most innovative companies, creating software solutions that help businesses of all sizes in every part of the economy to modernize and grow.

With headquarters in Washington, DC, and operations in more than 30 countries, BSA pioneers compliance programs that promote legal software use and advocates for public policies that foster technology innovation and drive growth in the digital economy.


Michael O’Brien

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