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Encryption 15 February 2016

Internet Society Signs “Secure the Internet” Online Petition

By Olaf KolkmanPrincipal - Internet Technology, Policy, and Advocacy

The Internet Society has just signed the online petition at https://www.securetheinternet.org.

In late 2014, the Internet Society Board of Trustees strongly supported the Internet Architecture Board’s (IAB) statement that encryption should be the norm for Internet traffic. We further believe that this is an important additional step in ongoing efforts by the technical community to address the critical issue of pervasive monitoring.

That norm is only meaningful if encryption is unlimited, as discussed in the petition.

The Internet Society continues to recognize that increased use of encryption for Internet traffic raises a number of practical, policy, and technical challenges. One of those challenges is mentioned in the petition:

“Users should have the option to use – and companies the option to provide – the strongest encryption available, including end-to-end encryption, without fear that governments will compel access to the content, metadata, or encryption keys without due process and respect for human rights.”

The methodology to ‘compel access’ to content (under respect of law and fundamental rights, a clear and undisputed boundary condition) is one that clearly needs further discussion.

We look forward to inviting all interested parties to discuss and find ways to address these challenges in a way that enhances trust in the Internet as a global platform for social and economic development.

Photo Credit: iStock

Disclaimer: Viewpoints expressed in this post are those of the author and may or may not reflect official Internet Society positions.

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