The encryption debate: Fighting cybercrime, protecting national security, and safeguarding rights

In the final session of Chatham House’s Inclusive Cybercrime Policymaking online training programme, this expert panel considers the encryption debate.

Research event, Panel Recording
28 October 2021 — 12:00PM TO 1:15PM

The encryption debate: Fighting cybercrime, protecting national security and safeguarding rights

— This session introduces participants to public key encryption, its benefits to commerce and human rights, and trends towards privacy-enhancing technologies.

This livestreamed panel discussion is the final session of the ‘Inclusive Cybercrime Policymaking’ training programme for civil society.

You do not need to register to attend; the discussion will be livestreamed on this webpage, and we encourage you to ask questions and comment on the discussion on Twitter using the hashtag #cyberspace4all.

Encryption is an area of contention in cyberspace. Highlighting the tensions between privacy and strong encryption this livestreamed discussion will explore key themes in the encryption debate, including access to encrypted content, ‘going dark’ claims by law enforcement, and the benefits and challenges of encryption and privacy laws such as GDPR.

  • What practical measures exist to enable both privacy and the detection and prevention of serious crime?
  • What are the benefits and limitations of a tight focus on encryption both as a guarantee of privacy and as a block to law enforcement?
  • Is it possible for global organizations, when handling requests for encrypted content, to adopt different attitudes towards democratic states that respect human rights on the one hand, and authoritarian states on the other?
  • Looking ahead, what new challenges will arise due to emerging tech (e.g. quantum) and how do we make ourselves ready for them?

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