Encryption and human rights: La Quadrature du Net takes part in a UN conference

Paris, 14 June 2016 — La Quadrature du Net is participating at the panel "Encryption and Human Rights" organised at the United Nations by the Committee Justice and Peace of the Dominican Order. This conference will talk about the right to encryption and to privacy in a time where in Europe, those rights are at regularly at risk. The video of this conference will be available on the Mediakit of La Quadrature du Net.

Right to encryption is one of the essential condition to the existence of the right to privacy and to freedom of speech.

Individuals and civil society are regularly subject to intrusions and restrictions of those rights by State, when those are asked to respect privacy of their citizens. The development of mass surveillance technologies and their legalisation in the name of the fight against terrorism act as a barrier to the application of those rights and seriously infringe a large number of civil liberties. Encryption has increasingly become a major breaking point and appear as a essential barrier against the demolition of our liberties in the digital era.

In order to bring this question at the core of the discussion on human rights that will take place this week during the 32nd sessions at the Council of Human Right of the UN in Geneva, the Justice and Peace Committee of the Dominican Order wished to organise a conference on the issue of encryption and human rights.

This conference will try to explain the reasons of a call for a protection to the right to encryption of communications and thus the respect of privacy in a time where they are increasingly threatened even in democratic States. The balance between the needs for investigation and surveillance of security-driven policies and the respect of the fundamental right of privacy lean more and more over public authorities questioning encryption putting at risk the respect of freedoms.

It becomes crucial to stress why the right to encryption of communications is one of the key elements to the application of the fundamental right of privacy and to confidentiality, as they are condition to the exercise of other fundamental freedoms such as the freedom to opinion, to speech, to information or of movement.

Wednesday 15 june at 11am in the room IV of the Palais des Nations in Gevenva, the panel Encryption and Human Rights will gather :
Introduction : Archbishop Ivan Jurkovic, permanent observer of the Holy See at the United Nations in Geneva
Speakers :

  • David Kaye, UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of opinion and expression
  • Adrienne Charmet, Campaign Coordinator at La Quadrature du Net
  • Bryan Ford, Associated Teacher in Informatics and Sciences at the École Polytechnique Fédérale of Lausanne, expert in encryption

Moderation : Fr. Eric Salobir (OPTIC - Order of Preachers forTechnology, Information and Communication)