Menu
French legislators want to compel companies to decrypt data in terrorism cases

French legislators want to compel companies to decrypt data in terrorism cases

Although still far from becoming law, the bill could force companies to hand over data protected by encryption systems they developed

In France, refusing to hand over encrypted information in terrorism cases could lead to a fine of €350,000 (US$385,000) and five years in prison, under proposed legislation.

Deputies voted for the measures as part of a bill entitled "reinforcing the fight against organized crime and terrorism, and their financing," which passed its first reading in the National Assembly on Tuesday afternoon.

It's by no means a done deal: The French Senate now gets its turn to amend, and perhaps reject, the bill before it returns to the Assembly for a further vote. If it makes it that far, parts of it could still be struck out by the Constitutional Court before it is submitted for presidential approval and publication in the Official Journal, the equivalent of the U.S. Federal Register.

Among the bill's 73 pages are a handful of measures aimed at forcing the owners, operators or designers of computer systems to help police with their investigations.

Article 4, Section 5, the subject of a late amendment to the bill, introduces the five-year prison sentence for a private organization that refuses a request from judicial authorities investigating terrorist cases to hand over data protected by an encryption system that it developed.

There's no exception for companies that develop encryption systems for which they do not hold the keys.

It could have been worse: Last week, deputies rejected an amendment imposing a €2 million fine and a two-year sales ban on phone makers, network operators and ISPs refusing to hand over information needed to solve a terrorist case.

Section 5 also extends measures introduced in 2004 that require companies holding information relevant to an investigation, or telecommunications operators carrying the information, to hand it over when served with a warrant. The new bill proposes raising the maximum penalty for not complying in cases involving terrorism from a fine of €3,750 to a fine of €15,000 and two years in prison.

One area in which France is playing catch-up rather than leading the legislative pack is the investigation of offenses conducted on the dark net. Deputies want to allow customs officers to adopt undercover identities online so they can infiltrate such sites, much as the FBI did in its investigation of Silk Road.

Follow Us

Join the New Zealand Reseller News newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Slideshows

IN PICTURES: Ingram Micro Innovation hits Auckland with Hewlett Packard Enterprise

IN PICTURES: Ingram Micro Innovation hits Auckland with Hewlett Packard Enterprise

Ingram Micro completed its nationwide roadshow in Auckland last month, kicking off its Innovation Hour series with Hewlett Packard Enterprise. Uncovering the latest in storage, networking and servers, the event outlined key market trends for resellers in 2016 and beyond.

IN PICTURES: Ingram Micro Innovation hits Auckland with Hewlett Packard Enterprise
IN PICTURES: FireEye celebrates channel at 2016 Partner Conference

IN PICTURES: FireEye celebrates channel at 2016 Partner Conference

FireEye welcomed 143 channel partners and distributors to FireEye's 2016 annual Partner Conference, FireEye A/NZ Momentum - held at Establishment in Sydney. Delegates heard from senior trans-Tasman channel leaders, marketing and the product divisions in the morning, with FireEye customers, incident responders and threat intelligence analysts sharing knowledge during the afternoon.

IN PICTURES: FireEye celebrates channel at 2016 Partner Conference
​IN PICTURES: Disruption in the data centre - Can the Kiwi channel capitalise?​

​IN PICTURES: Disruption in the data centre - Can the Kiwi channel capitalise?​

With New Zealand businesses now open to innovation, the industry sits on the cusp of significant disruption in the data centre. Driven by software-defined networking, the future of the data centre is fast becoming reality, as the channel seeks to keep up, keep innovating and keep growing. APC by Schneider Electric, Lenovo and key partners outlined how the channel can capitalise at The Grill restaurant in Auckland.

​IN PICTURES: Disruption in the data centre - Can the Kiwi channel capitalise?​
Show Comments