Letter From Europe: Does the Messaging Service Telegram Take Privacy too Far?

PARIS — The encryption of digital information is considered the best protection against hackers, snoops or potential enemies looking to poke around into private exchanges of all sorts.

That is why technology experts and privacy advocates in Europe went on high alert last month when the French Ministry of the Interior suggested that it might limit encryption as part of the fight against terrorist threats.

That fear abated somewhat on Aug. 23 when the French interior minister, Bernard Cazeneuve, at a joint news conference with his German counterpart, Thomas de Maizière, stepped back from a more sweeping proposal. Instead, he pressed for a coordinated international effort to get messaging services to comply with judicial warrants for information.

Mr. Cazeneuve named one such…

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