French Presidential candidate vows to tackle terrorism via encryption

Emmanuel Macron kicked off his campaign on Monday...

The first round of voting in the French Presidential election will get underway on April 23rd. With just two weeks to go, election campaigning officially kicked off on Monday. Centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron used this opportunity to lay out his plans to tackle terrorism, which involves forcing tech firms to release encrypted messages. 

Speaking at his campaign launch in Paris, Mr Macron says he wants to legally compel internet companies such as Google, Facebook, Apple and Twitter to give authorities access to the encrypted messages of suspected terrorists. 

"Democratic states must have access to content exchanged between terrorists on social media and instant messaging," he said. 

Mr. Macron continued to say it is "no longer acceptable" for the tech companies to state they have a contractual obligation to clients if they offer protected messaging services. 


This is not the first time the issue of message encryption has been cited as a barrier for tackling terrorism. UK Home Secretary, Amber Rudd, called for companies such as WhatsApp to provide access to encrypted messages in the wake of the Westminister attacks. 

"We need to make sure that organisations like WhatsApp, and there are plenty of others like that, don't provide a secret place for terrorists to communicate with each other.  We need to make sure that our intelligence services have the ability to get into situations like encrypted WhatsApp." she said on March 26th. 

This spark a debate regarding personal privacy versus the fight on terror.