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.
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.
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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.