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Crypto Wars Part II

Kurt Opsahl

Yet it is impossible to give these governments what they want without creating vulnerabilities that could be exploited by bad actors. Moreover any attempt to prevent people from writing and publishing strong encryption without backdoors conflicts with the right to freedom of expression enshrined in Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This presentation will address the history of crypto wars, update the audience with the latest information on government proposals from around the world, and discuss how we can fight for a future that will allow for secure communications for everyone. The discussion will also include information about EFF’s effort to protect and promote strong encryption, including the Secure Messaging Scorecard, Encrypt the Web report and the Who Has Your Back reports. The presentation will explain how the unintended consequence of these efforts to provide law enforcement unfettered access to communications for users’ privacy and the security of the Internet far exceeds the benefits that would be gained. The proposals are often made in the name of protecting national security, but are likely to have severe economic, political and social consequences for these nations and their citizens, while doing little to protect their security. Contrary to these government proposals, encryption has a critical role to play in national security by protecting citizens against malicious threats. The harm to the public that can be presented by lax digital security has been illustrated too many times: weak or flawed cryptography led to vulnerabilities such as Logjam and FREAK that compromised the transport layer security protocols used to secure network connections worldwide. Encryption is not only essential to protecting free expression in the digital age – it’s also a critical part of national security. This presentation will address the history of crypto wars, update the audience with the latest information on government proposals from around the world, and discuss how we can fight for a future that will allow for secure communications for everyone. The discussion will also include information about EFF’s effort to protect and promote strong encryption, including the Secure Messaging Scorecard, Encrypt the Web report and the Who Has Your Back reports.

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