Power to the People: The Encryption Summit

Justin Hendrix / Oct 18, 2023

On October 19th, 2023, join a series of panel discussions hosted by the Global Encryption Coalition.

In the runup to Global Encryption Day, the Global Encryption Coalition steering committee including the Center for Democracy & Technology (CDT), Internet Society, Global Partners Digital, Mozilla, and the Internet Freedom Foundation will host a series of virtual panels focused on issues surrounding encryption, privacy, security, and policy. Tech Policy Press is a media partner to the event, which is free to attend. Registration is available via ZOOM.

A sample of speakers across the day includes Prateek Waghre, Ambika Satkunanathan, Meredith Whittaker, Neeti Biyani, Roberta Battisti, Noam Kantor, Bruce Schneier, Riana Pfefferkorn, Dhanaraj Thakur, Iria Puyosa, Greg Nojeim, Calvin Mugauri, Caroline Sinders, Robert Fabricant, and Sheetal Kumar.

Sessions include:

  • Encryption and Free Expression in South Asia

The use of secured communications is integral to press freedom and freedom of expression. Any threats to this ability can result in a chilling effect as it makes people vulnerable to persecution and harassment which may lead to increased self censorship.

This session will discuss the importance of encrypted communications for journalists in South Asia. Additionally, the session will draw attention to legislative and regulatory efforts to undermine encryption in several South Asian jurisdictions. Finally, the session will stress on the importance of securing online communication and the urgent surveillance reform to protect against such invasive technologies.

  • Life in a World of Scanning

In a number of proposed legislations, Client Side Scanning is touted as the solution of analyzing content for containing CSAM and other illegal content without the need of “breaking encryption”.

During this session we will inform our global community about the problems with that framing and share the experience of those that are currently fighting the introduction of this sort of legislation. In addition, the panel will demonstrate the growing interest of policy makers globally in legislating the approach and inspire vigilance among our community.

  • Ciphered Frontiers: Encryption's Implications Beyond Personal Messaging

Due to various recent legislative attempts to curtail encrypted messaging services around the world, policy discussions can gloss over the fact that encryption touches so much more than personal messaging. Encryption protects computer systems from unauthorized access, secures financial payments, and shields medical records and browsing behavior from prying eyes. In this session we will discuss the many ways in which encryption is used outside of personal messaging, as well as policy challenges and opportunities in these areas.

  • Navigating Content Moderation in a World Embracing Encryption

Governments around the world are increasingly requiring communication service providers to moderate their users content to fight child pornography, terrorism and other crimes. They are imposing these mandates even on providers who cannot understand the content they carry because it is encrypted. In this session, we will discuss how companies can comply with these requirements without compromising the encryption they offer and the security it provides.

  • Safeguarding Communications in Vulnerable Populations

This panel will focus on the importance of encryption in the communications in various communities across the globe, with a focus on historically marginalized and vulnerable groups. With reference to recent research, the panelists will discuss the ways in which encrypted messaging applications are used in different contexts, and how they may be improved to better protect individuals in difficult environments. One topic of discussion will be on open questions that the community of researchers and activists concerned with these issues should focus on in the future.

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Click here to learn more about the program and panel speakers and to register via ZOOM.


Justin Hendrix
Justin Hendrix is CEO and Editor of Tech Policy Press, a new nonprofit media venture concerned with the intersection of technology and democracy. Previously, he was Executive Director of NYC Media Lab. He spent over a decade at The Economist in roles including Vice President, Business Development & ...