Encryption technologies: how to balance between privacy and security

Encryption technologies: how to balance between privacy and security

This session will be live streamed via Webex. Please provide your contact information to receive the meeting link before the session.

Background

The wide application of encryption technologies creates immense challenges to law enforcements’ effort to fight crimes and protect national security. Terrorists and criminals are using end-to-end encrypted communication tools to avoid investigations and charges; the inaccessibility of evidence also ties the hands of law enforcement when it comes to taking action against serious crimes.

EncroChat, an encrypted communications system used by criminals to trade drugs and guns, was dismantled this July. The result was over 800 Europe-wide arrests and seizure of more than two tonnes of drugs, several dozen guns and £54m in suspect cash. French and Dutch police were the main force of this successful investigation, while UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA) and Europol, the EU agency for law enforcement cooperation, were also involved. The event inevitably reinforces the idea that the abuse of encryption technologies is one of the primary causes of criminal activities.

Governments want ‘reasonable and flexible’ technical solutions to assist law enforcement in accessing encrypted data timely to protect society from crimes, terror attacks, and other harms. The authorization of accessing data should comply with the principle of necessity and proportionality, and the whole process should be under strict supervision. Human rights advocates believe such ‘special keys’ to access private communications will compromise digital security and endanger citizens’ privacy. For technical companies, the government’s wish for special keys presents the biggest threat to encryption technologies. The end-to-end technology is only truly protecting user privacy when even technical companies themselves, who provide the communication systems, cannot access user’s private messages.

In this session, panelists from different stakeholder groups will discuss the balance between encryption, security, and privacy.

Information

  • October 27 (Wed.) 2021, 14:00-16:00(on live)
  • The speakers are being invited as of now and names will be listed in the alphabetical order, which is subject to change.
  • The Event may be cancelled without notice in the case of natural disaster or force majeure, based on the Government announcement.
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