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Privacy Roundup: The EU & UK Dilemma

The essence of end-to-end encryption is its neutrality, ensuring that no entity - be it companies, cybercriminals, or governments - can access private communications.

Rochelle Guillou
3 min read
Privacy Roundup: The EU & UK Dilemma

The EU Parliament has recently achieved a substantial milestone, confirming that there will be no unwarranted monitoring, client-side scanning is prohibited, and end-to-end encrypted communications will remain unmonitored, upholding the right to private and secure communication. At XMTP Labs, we are encouraged by this progressive move and the EU Parliament's dedication to strengthening trust in secure end-to-end encryption.

Although the recent developments represent a significant victory for privacy and privacy-preserving protocols like XMTP, the struggle to safeguard privacy rights in the EU and beyond is ongoing. Several concerning proposals are still under consideration, threatening to drastically erode these rights.

Upholding Privacy in the Face of Regulatory Challenges

In the EU, the proposed eIDAS 2.0, which contains Article 45, would grant member states the authority to intercept and decrypt global web traffic. This move significantly threatens to weaken strong encryption, potentially leaving internet users around the world vulnerable to extensive surveillance and various security risks.

The adoption of this new regulation would mark a considerable step backward for digital privacy rights. Historically, the EU has championed privacy by imposing hefty fines on privacy-violating tech giants, enacting the robust GDPR framework, and reinforcing existing privacy laws. Yet, the proposed move against encryption starkly contrasts with the EU's most recent actions.

This anti-encryption stance creates a hostile climate for innovation, forcing companies and developers to balance privacy obligations with governmental demands. At XMTP Labs, we're committed to resisting these changes and maintaining true private communication as a new global standard. Despite compromised internet traffic, end-to-end encryption ensures data remains unreadable by any external party.

Meanwhile in the UK, recent developments include a proposed amendment to the Investigatory Powers Act, which provide for the “lawful acquisition” of communications data by the UK government. The Open Rights Group, a UK-based advocacy organization working to protect privacy rights and free speech online, has expressed concerns that this could lead to increased assaults on end-to-end encryption, particularly in the wake of the recent passage of the Online Safety Bill. Read their submission on the consultation into the reform, which includes:

E2EE is a significant protection against everyday criminality, abuse and intrusion. E2EE protects vendors from being a vector for potentially massive data loss, with often traumatic consequences, where the data is especially personal. The increase of encryption should be seen as a benefit.

XMTP Labs Stands for Uncompromising Privacy

The essence of end-to-end encryption is its neutrality, ensuring that no entity—be it companies, cybercriminals, or governments—can access private communications. This trust is crucial to XMTP's development and growth in establishing privacy as the new global standard in how we communicate and experience the web.

In a world where privacy is increasingly conditional, any failure to protect it underscores the urgency for tireless advocacy in support of privacy rights, such as through the Global Encryption Coalition, which XMTP Labs recently joined.

Industry Leaders Unite in Expressing Concern

In regards to the EU’s eIDAS Regulation, read this open letter from a consortium of industry leaders. This collaborative and united effort is endorsed by major players including Mozilla, Cloudflare, Fastly, the Linux Foundation, Mullvad, and the Bytecode Alliance, representing a wide spectrum of companies and organizations committed to securing the internet. Together, they are expressing serious concerns about the potential implications and alarming consequences this regulation could bring about.

In the UK, tech companies and organizations are pressing ministers for clear guidelines on proposed powers that they are concerned might permit the UK government to obstruct and halt the introduction of new privacy functionalities in messaging apps.

Protecting Privacy in a Changing World

At XMTP Labs, we recognize the significance of these developments and remain vigilant in our advocacy for privacy. We will continue to monitor these regulations closely, engage in meaningful efforts to promote privacy, and collaborate with global partners with a shared vision for upholding privacy rights everywhere. End-to-end encryption and other critical privacy and security features are integral not only to XMTP's growth and global adoption, but also to shaping a future where private communication is the norm, not the exception.

AdvocacyPrivacy & Security