An EU report recommends the use of strong encryption to ward off US commercial cyber-espionage.
The report, commissioned by the European Parliament's research arm as a working document for its Scientific and Technological Options Assessment programme, was written by journalist Duncan Campbell.
His research reveals that European nations' policies requiring EU governments to hold a copy of each user's encryption keys - known as key escrow - resulted from diplomatic pressure by the US government, acting on behalf of the National Security Agency (NSA), an intelligence network tied to the US government.
Disguised as a measure to aid law enforcement agencies in the pursuit of online criminals, key escrow also ensures that the NSA can intercept and decipher messages sent by European governments, companies and citizens, Campbell reported.
The report also cites "wide-ranging evidence indicating that major governments are routinely utilising communications intelligence to provide commercial advantage to companies and trade."
Yaman Akdeniz, the head of Cyber Liberties and Cyber Rights UK, said the report highlighted the need to use strong encryption on a wide scale.
"The use of encryption would be a strong tool against industrial espionage," he said.
He warned that technical barriers would require staff training and that companies should take special care to secure key recovery systems.
The report, available from www. iptvreports.mcmail.com/ stoa_cover.htm, also reveals back doors in Web browsers and popular Email programs.
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