Civil society and tech companies around the world unite to protect strong encryption on inaugural Global Encryption Day

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Civil society and tech companies around the world unite to protect strong encryption on inaugural Global Encryption Day

October 21
13:39 2021
The Global Encryption Coalition is calling for the public to ‘Make the Switch’ on Global Encryption Day to strong encrypted services and defend their right to privacy and security.

Hundreds of technology companies and civil society have already made the pledge to use strong encryption.

Haryana, India – A group of civil society organisations and technology companies around the world has come together to promote the use of strong encryption on the first ever Global Encryption Day.

Encryption safeguards the personal security of billions of people and the national security of countries around the world. Marginalised communities, domestic abuse survivors, and politicians who work with highly sensitive information all need encryption to keep their communications private and secure. Even law enforcement uses encrypted communications systems to ensure that organised criminals and terror organisations cannot gain access to their investigations. Thanks to strong encryption, people can access online banking and healthcare services without fear of their personal data being stolen.

Edward Snowden, Board Member of Freedom of the Press Foundation says “The Covid pandemic brought home how essential encrypted messaging apps on our smartphones are for communicating with loved ones if we’re ill and need help. Doctors used encrypted messaging apps to communicate with their patients and share personal information securely. Encryption makes us all safer. From families protecting photographs of their kids, to personal healthcare information, encryption keeps our private information private.”

Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia says, “Protecting strong encryption is essential for protecting the human rights of millions of people around the world. Everyone has the right to privacy and security – that can only be maintained with secure end-to-end encryption. Weakening 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 of ours and we introduced it as soon as we could.”

On the first ever Global Encryption Day, there will be a series of events around the world to showcase how different walks of life have been kept safe using encryption. From LGBT Tech hosting an Instagram Live on why encryption is essential to the LGBTQ+ community, to leading civil society groups in Brazil hosting an all-women panel discussing the importance of encryption to keep social activism alive, and world renowned investigative journalists publicly pledging to Make the Switch to strong encryption in an open letter.

The Global Encryption Coalition is asking the public to Make the Switch to encrypted services on Global Encryption Day. Make your pledge to switch here.

For more information please contact: [email protected]

About Global Encryption Day

Global Encryption Day is an opportunity for businesses, civil society organizations, technologists, and millions of Internet users worldwide to show governments and our communities why encryption matters to all of us. The larger the movement, the harder it will be for critics to make decisions that undermine our safety by weakening or banning end-to-end encryption.

Who’s Listening? Exposing Global Multicorp

In a world where sharing information securely is crucial to exposing corruption from the rich and powerful, strong encryption is key. Who’s Listening is an interactive story-telling game where players have to make meaningful decisions using strong encryption to protect themselves and others from danger.

Play as a local journalist attempting to break the biggest story of your career, while protecting your sources from nefarious forces intent on silencing them. Can you make the right choices to save the whistleblower’s life? Play here.

About the Global Encryption Coalition

With over 200 members from across every region of the world, the Global Encryption Coalition promotes and defends encryption in key countries and multilateral fora where it is under threat. It also supports efforts by companies to offer encrypted services to their users.  The Global Encryption Coalition (GEC) was founded by the Center for Democracy & Technology, Global Partners Digital and the Internet Society.

Additional quotes from Global Encryption Coalition members and supporters:

Udbhav Tiwari, Public Policy Advisor at Mozilla:

“Encryption is increasingly under attack across the world, putting the privacy and security of billions of users at risk. Recent proposals, such as those around traceability and web traffic interception, are a worrying trend and require urgent intervention to safeguard the open Internet.”

Istvan Lam, co-founder and CEO, Tresorit:

“The demand for end-to-end encryption has increased steadily in the past decade and now it has the potential to become a gold standard for privacy. However, there are some requirements to make this happen: companies offering e2ee products need to go the extra mile to develop user-friendly apps, users need to value end-to-end encryption together with its complexities and potential trade-offs, and governments need to accept once and for all that no encryption backdoors are tolerable whatsoever. Having an even bigger demand for end-to-end encryption will help motivate and fuel more research into new technologies that can enable solving the usability challenges in the future”.

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