Translated from german:
The Swiss app Threema promises anonymous exchange with other people, whether by message or Internet call. But that doesn't sit well with the authorities. In 2018, the Post and Telecommunications Surveillance Service (ÜPF) called for real-time monitoring of metadata and the removal of transport encryption.
Privacy versus security
For Martin Blatter, CEO and co-founder of Threema, this is a "populist tool to deflect attention from authority failures." After all, the perpetrators of all major attacks in recent years were already known to the authorities.
The ÜPF in turn relies on the Telecommunications Act. This states that "telecommunications service providers" such as Swisscom and Sunrise must hand over stored data to law enforcement agencies upon request. The same applies to Threema.
Run through the instances
Threema went to the Federal Administrative Court and was proven right. The FDJP took the case further to the Federal Supreme Court - which confirmed the decision on April 29. The reasoning: Apps like Threema would not provide a line or radio infrastructure, but merely feed information into existing ones.
" It's an important victory for data protection over the overreaching snooping state. " Martin Blatter CEO and co-founder Threema
CEO Blatter speaks of a "victory over the overshooting snooping state." If the court had ruled differently, Threema would probably have moved abroad.
The FDJP and the FOC merely take note of the ruling. They do not want to comment to SRF yet.
Threema as a security gap
Digital expert Jean-Claude Frick welcomes the decision. He is not worried about public security. It is not terrorists who would be affected by the data exchange, but the broad mass of users. "Those who don't want to be found will find a way anyway," Frick says.
"Existing data never remain secret. " Jean-Claude Frick Digital expert at Comparis
Dangerous security gaps only exist when apps like Threema remove encryption and store data: "Existing data never remains secret. They are always leaked at some point and fall into the hands of hackers," says the digital expert.