Tutankhamun, an email provider from Hanover, is again being forced by the court to assist police in tracking down suspects. According to the ad, “The World’s Most Secure Email Service” protects its customers’ messages with each other’s end-to-end encryption, and at least saves all other emails in encrypted form. The Cologne Regional Court is now forcing the company to rebuild its service so that investigators can read personal mailboxes to obtain information about the perpetrators in the extortion case.
Dutonota previously had such a monitoring function, It was implemented in June 2019. At the time, the company had to respond to the decision of the Itjeho District Court. At the time, Managing Director Matthias Fifav told SPIEGEL that the monitoring would only be changed if there was a valid court order for selected and personal accounts: “We try to protect privacy as much as possible, so we are not happy to incorporate such activity.” . The final first encrypted emails by Tudotota could not be encrypted and could not be sent; Only the sender and receiver can read such messages.
Then European Court of Justice (ECJ) From the same month the situation in Tutankhamun changed. The ECJ ruled that email providers – in the case of Gmail – were not telecommunications services and therefore not subject to the same obligations as the police. When the Hanover Public Prosecutor’s Office later asked for surveillance assistance in November 2019 – even in the case of extortion – Dutton was able to do so before the Hanover Regional Court ECJ will represent the verdict. The company removed the monitoring function from their systems.
Following the August 2020 Cologne Court ruling that is now known, Dutonota is now reinstalling the technology. “Even if we do not understand the decision, we must implement it,” Tutanota spokeswoman Hannah Bosakov told SPIEGEL. But the renewal will take “until the end of the year”.
Dudanota seeks Supreme Court decision
After all, Dutonota is concerned with the court’s argument that an email provider is not a telecommunications service provider but a contributor. It says in the Code of Criminal Procedure: “As a result of ordering the monitoring and recording of telecommunications, all those who provide or are involved in telecommunications services should assist the court, the public prosecutor and their investigators working in the police force to take these actions.”
The only difference is that SPIEGEL’s ruling does not explain which telecommunications service Dutonota should be involved with. Bosakov calls this “absurd.”
From Ulf Burmeyer Society for Freedom of Rights (GFF), A former judge of the Berlin Regional Court, considers the reason for the regional court to be “unbelievable.” He considers it questionable whether this decision will be accepted under European law.
Tutankhamun wants to file a complaint against the decision, and Bosakov says he is “preparing to bring the Supreme Court’s decision to appeal to the Federal Court in such a case.”
No matter how unpleasant it may seem to Tourmanota, Burmeier sees it as a perfect example of the need for encryption, which even the provider could not avoid: “The lesson is that the law does not protect us from surveillance. Only cryptography can do that. “