Undoubtedly, global terrorism is a formidable challenge nowadays. However, this does not mean that the states should have access to their citizens’ online activities without any barriers or limitations whatsoever. The “Five Eyes” intelligence alliance’s demand from the tech companies to insert “backdoors” in encrypted apps is hugely problematic.

If tech companies yield to the pressure exerted on them from the allied nations, law enforcement agencies will be able to access an individual’s online activity at any time, even in hitherto “secure” apps such as Telegram, Signal and Whatsapp. Many of the tech companies are American, with hundreds of millions of users around the world. The introduction of “backdoors” in encrypted apps will also violate the right to privacy of citizens of other states.

Indeed, we are rushing to enter the age of digital surveillance where a user’s online privacy will no longer be protected. The tech companies must resist the unjust demand of the intelligence alliance. Chances that the states, while accessing a person’s internet usage, will abuse the right to privacy and use the “backdoors” as a new tool of control cannot be ruled out at all. The breach of an individual’s privacy is just one of the many issues that come with the insertion of roundabout means to compromise the end-user’s privacy.

Another problem, in case the tech companies kneel before “Five Eyes,” is the vulnerability of the national security of other states. Many state functionaries use these apps. Unmitigated access will undermine the national security of any nation by default as these officials’ privacy can be abused at any time. National security of all states—and not just the US, the UK, New Zealand, Canada and Australia—is to be protected no matter what.

Additionally, with granting further access to law enforcement agencies, the possibility of non-state actors to hack sensitive information will increase manifold. This also opens up a Pandora’s Box for both national and personal security. Can these states really ensure that all of these issues will be taken into account if access is given? The answer is a resounding no, which is why technology companies should not even consider this as an option.