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Protect Encryption, Protect Yourself

Encryption is under threat around the world. It’s up to all of us to take action to protect encryption, protect our data, and protect one another.

Use end-to-end encryption. Stand up for encryption. When we weaken or limit the use of encryption, all of us are put at greater risk.

Global Encryption Under Threat

Criminals can also use encryption. So some law enforcement agencies are concerned that encryption will stop them from getting the evidence or information they need. To address these concerns, some governments are trying to make companies create ways for them to access the content encrypted by the companies’ systems (a practice known as “exceptional access”).

No matter the method, there is no such thing as “exceptional” access. Criminals could discover and use the same way to get in.

How do law enforcement plan to access our data? If law enforcement can access our data, who else can too? And can we catch the bad guys?

What is Encryption?

Encryption is the process of scrambling or enciphering data so it can be read only by someone with the means to return it to its original state.

Encryption keeps criminals and spies from stealing information.  Although you might not realize it, you rely on encryption every day. It protects you while you browse the web, shop online, use mobile banking, or use secure messaging apps.

So encryption scrambles data, but how? What is end-to-end encryption? How else might encryption impact me?

How the Internet Society and Others Help

Effective encryption is key to secure online communications for everything, from financial transactions to healthcare. It is a foundational component upon which a trustworthy Internet is built.

The Internet Society is in a unique position to address the threat to encrypted communications posed by both governments and the private sector. As a trusted technical voice with a deeply connected community, we will bridge the gap between policymakers and the technical community by building and activating a global advocacy movement. In particular, we will articulate a compelling narrative of the dangers of weakening encryption technologies. 

By the end of 2020:

  • We will have developed a compelling narrative that advances end-to-end encryption against threats such as exceptional access.
  • We will have created a diverse and engaged global network of coalitions with participants aligned with our goals and efforts in this area.

By 2025, our aim is that exceptional access proposals will no longer be considered a viable action for governments. Rather, leading governments will promote the use of end-to-end encryption to protect networks, communications, and data. More tangibly, we expect legal and business imperatives will mean that Internet-based services and products, such as commonly used messaging applications and Internet of Things devices, will implement and use effective end-to-end encryption, thereby increasing the security of the Internet as a whole.

See how the Internet Society is working in this area to make the Internet more trusted.

Encryption News

Is Germany throwing its tech industry up to the wolves? (in German)
Netzpalaver logo
In the News 23 November 2020

Is Germany throwing its tech industry up to the wolves? (in German)

Netzpalaver
European Union, Use Facts to Make Cybersecurity Decisions – Not Myths
European Union, Use Facts to Make Cybersecurity Decisions – Not Myths Thumbnail
Encryption 19 November 2020

European Union, Use Facts to Make Cybersecurity Decisions – Not Myths

Nearly 450 million EU citizens are counting on the Council of the European Union to make decisions that protect...

The Global Encryption Coalition Breaks Encryption Myths
CDT logo
In the News 19 November 2020

The Global Encryption Coalition Breaks Encryption Myths

Center for Democracy & Technology
Governments square up for a fight with big tech over encryption
The Telegraph logo
In the News 15 November 2020

Governments square up for a fight with big tech over encryption

The Telegraph
Section 230: tech CEOs to defend key internet law before Congress
The Guardian logo
In the News 27 October 2020

Section 230: tech CEOs to defend key internet law before Congress

The Guardian
‘Backdoors to encryption are bad,’ civil society group tells Five Eyes, India, Japan. Again.
MediaNama logo
In the News 14 October 2020

‘Backdoors to encryption are bad,’ civil society group tells Five Eyes, India, Japan. Again.

MediaNama
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