Threats to encryption and the challenges for civil society. A comparative analysis between Europe and Latin America

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Threats to encryption and the challenges for civil society. A comparative analysis between Europe and Latin America
Presenter(s) Leandro Ucciferri, Vladimir Garay, Éireann Leverett
Title(s) Threats to encryption and the challenges for civil society. A comparative analysis between Europe and Latin America
Organization(s) Asociacion por los Derechos Civiles, Derechos Digitales
Country(ies) Argentina, Chile, United Kingdom
Social media @leandrotx @ADC_Derechos @blackswanburst
2017 theme Internet Freedom: Present and Future

In this session we will compare the different ways civil society in Europe and Latin America have challenged the increasing efforts made by governments to restrict the use of encryption. In order to do so, we will bring together digital rights activist from both regions, who will share their ideas and experiences,based on cases, legislation or practices from their own countries. Panelists will debate on strategies to raise awareness in the civil society about the necessity to defend the encryption as a tool to protect the right to privacy and to speak freely, without the fear of being monitored by authorities. We expect to seize this opportunity to gain more knowledge from people from different countries and region, in order to reinforce and deepen the investigation and the advocacy work regarding the encryption as a tool to protect human rights

Format Panel Discussion
Target Groups Digital Rights Advocates, Journalist, Lawyers
Length 1 Hour
Skill Level Novice
Language English

Session Outputs

In light of some events, such as the bomb attacks in Paris and Brussels, the debate around encryption has raised again. Which are the narratives to use around those debates to protect encryption? Encryption is enabler of rights, and this is the narrative that we should use in this debate. Encryption as a consumer protection-needed for everyone anytime at any day.

In terms of policy, are two cases where encryption is specifically regulated. In Colombia, specific regulation that who might use encryption services to intelligence agency.

On encryption: Colombia has a broad legal prohibition, dating back to 1993, on any use of encryption technology for communications in the electromagnetic spectrum. It also prohibits the use of voice encryption technology by anyone other than certain government officials. These prohibitions appear to apply to virtually all of the routine uses of encryption in today’s communications technologies, but the laws do not seem to be enforced in practice. Source: [1]

EL SALVADOR: On encryption: Article 42-D of the telecommunications law states that telecommunications providers “must decrypt, or ensure that authorities can decrypt, any client or subscriber communications in order to obtain the information referred to by the preceding articles in cases in which the encryption has been provided by the service operator.” This may be interpreted as forbidding providers from deploying or providing encryption technologies that they are unable to decrypt, and it remains unclear whether the companies can be punished for failing to turn over information that they do not possess. Source: [2]

How to change the narrative around encryption Even the word encryption is difficult, what is it? How it works? Why is it useful? Regular people don't use regularly that word. Authorities needs to use encryption in a daily basis.

As user crypto is important for right to privacy, and other rights....

Mainly in US and European Union, awful events has happened in last year. What we can do in other regions where the discussion hasn't been contaminated. How we can grow our ability to intercept communication and surveil communication and the people. One of the things that states are not self assessing themselves because the currently Talking about providers regarding the take of implementing encryption and what are the companies use and the techno community?

The state always wants to read everything, terrorism but also they want to protect all forces of their militaries. Take in the stories, if you want to protect the security of your security forces, you need to protect your consumers.

Usability: Redefine multi-disciplinary branchery of privacy enhancing technology real world crypto. Crypto adopt. how to use crypto how that make sense to them. coming back to tech difficulties, or at the level of communication provider 1. scale up, 2, increase overhead, 3. key managment (those needs to scale), dont buy that narrative, and economy and consumer protection. how to use encryption at the telco level there are a lot of challenges at that level.

Brazil: WhatsApp blockage in four opportunities in the last two years. No current legal framework that regulates encryption. We know very little of the blockage cases because they are under seal, they are under criminal investigation. One thing that influence the debate in Brazil is that the few two decisions were completely under seal. The judge profile as an American company no cooperation with the police, that changes the debate.

In order to engage with them, they have this claim about sovereignty. see: [3]

UNESCO; New book on Human Rights & Encryption. [4]

We need to emphasize the idea to communicate about encryption to foster its implementation its the idea that there is no white and black thing. its not just people to protect themselves who needs to implemented. That encryption is for everybody. It is a general measure for protection for everyone, and more positive effects for the network in general.

In one jurisdiction, one participant raise the problem that internet companies takes all the measure to secure communication for the user, its a good argument that, under this provision that are forced to do. Most effective way to protect the flow of the info. in the network. At the same time, there were a draft regulation being drafting by the govt, specifically for the case, that regulates the interception of communication in general. Includes some provision to secure decryption communication that they want to adopt as a protective measure.

Colombia has prohibited radio encryption to follow and renew every four years with automatically review. its done in other chapters of the law. FOIA how this law was working, and what they mention, has nothing to be with online communication, its only electromagnetic communication.

Business will push away backdoors only if you reframe it as a consumer protection.

Everyone wants encryption for different reasons, military reasons, consumer protection, human rights, against data breaches, that is why is good for everyone Its the same as anonymity is equal for all of us. It is not wise to endorse certain products... how many have the tech capability (knowledge, know-how, etc) to be 100% sure of what they are endorsing is worth in the long term? if you are talking about open source, it's important to foster independent audits.

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