Watch Edward Snowden launch World Encryption Day, live today – TechCrunch


Marginalized communities, survivors of abuse, politicians, law enforcement – they all use encrypted communications to protect their information. But the encryption of the types of services you and I use on a daily basis – from messaging to confidential internal corporate communications – are increasingly threatened by governments around the world. The reasons are sometimes understandable, such as the protection of children, but more often it is state espionage and population control, especially in authoritarian regimes. Democratic countries that give the green light to break encryption make it easier for dictatorships to advocate for it.

That’s why a group of civil society organizations and tech companies are launching a campaign today for strong encryption on what they call “World Encryption Day”.

Edward Snowden, the whistleblower behind the NSA surveillance disclosures and a member of the board of directors of Press Freedom Foundation will kick off the day on a special today at 6 a.m. PT / 9 a.m. ET / 2 p.m. BST / 3 p.m. CET which you can watch live here:

While governments around the world often complain that criminals are exploiting encrypted messages to disguise illegal activity, proposals to weaken or undermine strong encryption are much more likely to make users more vulnerable to cyber attacks and criminal activity. because once you have created these backdoors, anyone can use them.

In a statement, Snowden said, “If you weaken the encryption, people will die. This year alone, after the fall of the Afghan government, we have seen how crucial encryption is to keeping ordinary people safe. The Covid pandemic has made it clear how essential encrypted messaging apps on our smartphones are in communicating with loved ones if we are sick and need help… It would have been impossible for me to raise an alert without encryption.

He added: “Despite this, governments around the world are looking to weaken encryption by calling on platforms to create ‘back doors’ for law enforcement … Weakening encryption would be a colossal mistake that could cost thousands of people. lives in danger.

Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia, said: “Protecting strong encryption is essential to protect the human rights of millions of people around the world. Everyone has the right to privacy and security… Weak encryption puts us all at risk. When we started Wikipedia it was prohibitively expensive to use secure encryption for every page on the site, but it was always a priority for us and we introduced it as soon as we could. There is no excuse not to use encryption now – governments and tech platforms have a duty to protect the public. “

World Encryption Day will also feature a range of other online events, including LGBT technology hosting an Instagram Live and a leading civil society group in Brazil hosts an all-female panel discuss the importance of encryption.

The Global Encryption Coalition (GEC) was founded by the Center for Democracy & Technology, Global Partners Digital, and the Internet Society.

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