The Netherlands has said it will not force tech firms to share encrypted communications such as emails with its security agencies.
The move puts the country in stark contrast with US and UK officials, who have argued agencies need such access to fight terrorism.
The Netherlands began reviewing its policies after the recent Paris terrorist attacks.
But this week it said "restrictive" measures would put citizens at risk.
Encryption is a way of protecting communications or data so that it is incomprehensible without the correct passcode or key.
Advocates say it protects users by preventing criminals and spies from prying into private conversations.
But security agencies have said they struggled to bypass encrypted messaging platforms used by groups such as so-called Islamic State to plan attacks.
"We are not some kind of maniacs who are ideologues against encryption," FBI director James Comey said in November:
"But we have a problem that encryption is crashing into public safety and we have to figure out, as people who care about both, how to resolve it."