France Goes Against The Flow, Rejects Encryption Backdoor Law

While the US, particularly New York, and the UK are on a crusade to legally mandate the creation of backdoors on otherwise tightly secure encrypted systems, the French government is doing the opposite. It has recently rejected a proposed amendment that would practically require companies to install such backdoors and give government the keys in case of a criminal investigation. This rejection is almost ironic considering it was the recent Paris attacks that are being used by other government to justify their push for encryption backdoors.

The amendment to France's DIgital Republic bill was proposed by Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet, Republican politician. The reason for the change is one that you most likely have heard of before, to legally require companies, in this case equipment manufacturers, to aid investigation by allowing access even to encrypted systems. While that might be the formal wording of the bill, in practice it would require those companies to install backdoors in the first place.

The proposal was rejected by the government and deputy minister for digital affairs Axelle Lemaire responded with an argument that, again, should already be familiar. That backdoor, though installed with laudable intentions, also gives access to people with less than laudable goals. She calls it "vulnerability by design."

The debate between those for and against encryption backdoors seems to have no end yet in sight, with the same arguments being echoed again and again. It seems that the only way to have finality would be to actually formally get it into law. Or formally rejected with finality. New York, the UK, and China are close to doing that, while the Netherlands and France have already formally said "No".