Confidential communcation needs encryption

  • Bitkom publishes declaration on encryption

Berlin, 14. December 2020 - In light of the recent policy debates among EU members on state intervention in encrypted communications, Bitkom has published the following policy statement. The association is convinced that the forced introduction of backdoors in communication services would do more harm than good. The same applies to so-called master keys for secure communication channels. “We must do everything we can to make electronic communications as secure as possible, and here strong encryption is the measure of choice. 'Encryption light' offers no real security," says Bitkom CEO Dr Bernhard Rohleder. "Backdoors cannot be permanently controlled and can be exploited by all conceivable actors - from cyber criminals to intelligence services." This harms the security of society and the economy in the long run. "Confidential communication needs encryption."

From Bitkom's point of view, it is nevertheless undisputed that effective law enforcement must be possible in the digital space. However, the foundations for this should first be improved. "First and foremost, investigating authorities must be better equipped and build up more digital competence among their staff," says Rohleder. In addition, security authorities must network even more with each other, nationally and internationally, to strengthen the fight against crime online. "There is still a lot of room for improvement for effective cooperation between authorities." In addition, there needs to be a constructive debate on how security authorities can intervene in the area of telecommunications on an ad hoc, judicially ordered basis. Bitkom recognises the necessity of such intervention possibilities as an instrument of law enforcement - however, proportionality must be maintained. 

The complete Bitkom policy statement on encryption is available at the following link: