Counterterrorism prosecutor want access to encrypted devices

Markets Associated Press

Prosecutors from France, Belgium, Spain and Morocco are calling for the ability to unlock phones and computers and have access to encrypted communications in the fight against terrorism.

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Following a two-day meeting in Paris, four prosecutors in charge of counterterrorism issued a statement on Friday to "alert" national and international authorities, internet providers and telecommunication operators about the obstacles posed by data encryption and the locking systems of smartphones and computers.

They say that while the protection of personal data is a basic right, the threat "justifies" that "specialized justice authorities" have access to the data of people suspected of terror activity.

French prosecutor Francois Molins says the issue needs a global response since the concerned companies are often not based in the country where an investigation is taking place.