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Hungary Passes New Law To Ban Full Encryption

The Parliament in Hungary voted on a legislative amendment that would prohibit end to end encryption, online daily index.hu reported yesterday. The reasons behind this are to help fight the growing threat of terrorism Hungary is facing. The proposed changes would mandate any providers offering end to end encryption to provide data for the Hungarian government when it requests so.

When this change takes place it would make applications that offer end to end encryption such as the Hungry based CryptTalk pointless.  Cabinet Chief Janos Lazar said at one of his weekly press conferences that “services using encryption would not be banned, but intelligence services would ask service providers to let intelligence services monitor the communication flow in a terror situation.

Decoding encrypted messages isn’t always possible. With CrypTalk there are no servers where information is stored and not even the developers are able to decrypt the communications.

“The action plan would permit the government, if circumstances dictate, to restrict public gatherings and install recording devices in areas of outstanding importance for the operations of the state in order to uncover possible terrorist activities,” Magyar Hirlap said in a press release.

Legislation passed in Parliament with the aim to help fight the spread of terrorism, while not banning end to end encryption. The original draft would have jailed end to end encryption application users and developers would be required to offer some type of back door for government monitoring. Before it was passed, the jail time for users was dropped and a clause roughly stating that the government could ask for developers to decrypt the communications in question.

It was reported by 444.hu that the adopted law shows that the Hungarian Intelligence Service have admitted that messages do not carry as much relevant information as meta data. Under the new legislation service providers must store and provide meta data to authorities if requested.

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