26 november 2021

Door Nena Vonk

Argument Map Restricting encryption


The Argument Map Restricting encryption provides an overview of the arguments for and against a Dutch law that would compel over-the-top services (OTT services) – upon lawful request – to give law enforcement access to communications in a readable form, for example by decrypting them.

The reason for producing this Argument Map is a bill announced by the Dutch Ministry of Justice and Security in March 2021 that is expected to be submitted in a new cabinet period. The Argument Map was commissioned by the Amsterdam Internet Exchange (AMS-IX) and the Platform for the Information Society (ECP) and made by The Argumentation Factory (De Argumentenfabriek). The arguments presented on this map were gathered in three thinking sessions with the help of experts from the thirty organizations.

The arguments on the Map are structured following four main topics: safety, fundamental rights, economics and politics. At the con side, on the topic of ‘fundamental rights’, the following argument is given: “The law constitutes a disproportionate breach of privacy and freedom of speech”. Whereas, on the pro side on that same topic, the argument: “The law leads to a more proportional use of law enforcement resources”, offers a different perspective. The possibility of decryption of private messages on OTT services by law enforcement has been a topic of discussion for a while now, internationally and in The Netherlands. This Argument Map offers some useful insights to both sides of the public discourse surrounding this subject.