The Innovation Awards were handed out this week in the Hungarian parliament. One award went to Szabolcs Kun, CEO of Arenim Technologies, makers of the encryption software CryptTalk, reports RTL Klub. Ironically, CryptTalk’s Hungarian clients may end up in prison for two years if Hungary’s Ministry of the Interior has its way.
CryptTalk allows users to have encrypted conversation on their smartphones. The technology is reportedly good enough to frustrate the snooping ears of state security services.
On Tuesday the government announced plans to introduce legislation to criminalize the use of encryption software capable of preventing the state’s security apparatus from keeping an eye and an ear on Hungarians.
CryptTalk says it will stop providing access to the application if Hungarian authorities ban the use of encryption software.
When asked whether he thinks there is anything strange about banning a product that was just awarded an Innovation Award in parliament, Minister Overseeing the Office of the Prime Minister János Lázár responded with his own question.
“Do you think that if there was an explosion in America the CIA would look at a phone that needs to be surveilled and consider whether the company received an innovation award?” Lázár asked.