From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : ‘Five Eyes’ group of nations, End-to-end encryptions
Mains level : Not Much
India joins the UK in drive known as ‘Five Eyes’ group of nations, as a seventh member against encrypted social media messages.
Map the countries in ‘Five Eyes’ group of nations.
‘Five Eyes’ group of nations
- The Five Eyes (FVEY) is an intelligence alliance comprising Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States.
- The origins of the Five Eyes alliance can be traced back to the Atlantic Charter, which was issued in August 1941 to lay out the Allied goals for the post-war world.
- These countries are parties to the multilateral UK-USA Agreement, a treaty for joint cooperation in signals intelligence.
- India is among seven countries to back a UK-led campaign against end-to-end encryption of messages by social media giants such as Facebook, which they say hinder law enforcement by blocking all access to them.
A formal expansion
- The UK and India joined this group to ensure they do not blind themselves to illegal activity on their platforms, including child abuse images.
- This marks an expansion of the so-called “Five Eyes” group of nations, a global alliance on intelligence issues, to include India and Japan.
For a common cause
- All members claim that end-to-end encryption policies such as those employed by the social media giant erode the public’s safety online.
- They have made it clear that when end-to-end encryption is applied with no access to content, it severely undermines the ability of companies to take action against illegal activity on their own platforms.
- It also prevents law enforcement investigating and prosecuting the most serious crimes being committed on these services such as online child sexual abuse, grooming and terrorist content.
Back2Basics: End-to-end encryption
- End-to-end encryption (E2EE) is a system of communication where only communicating users can read the messages.
- It is regarded as the most secure way to communicate privately and securely online.
- By encrypting messages at both ends of a conversation, end-to-end encryption prevents anyone in the middle from reading private communications.
- In principle, it prevents potential eavesdroppers – including telecom providers, Internet providers, and even the provider of the communication service – from being able to access the cryptographic keys needed to decrypt the conversation.