CryptoAUSTRALIA Signs Open Letter to Five Eyes Ministers

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Written By Gabor Szathmari

83 organisations – including CryptoAUSTRALIA – and experts from 5 nations demand “Five Eyes” respect strong encryption

Read the full letter here

Today, 83 organisations and individuals from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States sent letters to their respective governments insisting that government officials defend strong encryption. The letter comes on the heels of a meeting of the “Five Eyes” ministerial meeting in Ottawa, Canada earlier this week.

The “Five Eyes” is a surveillance partnership of intelligence agencies consisting of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States. According to a joint communique issued after the meeting encryption and access to data was discussed. The communique stated that “encryption can severely undermine public safety efforts by impeding lawful access to the content of communications during investigations into serious crimes, including terrorism.”

In the letter organised by Access Now, CIPPIC, and researchers from Citizen Lab, 83 groups and individuals from the so-called “Five Eyes” countries wrote, “we call on you to respect the right to use and develop strong encryption.” Signatories also urged the members of the ministerial meeting to commit to allowing public participating in any future discussions.

“Encryption is used by governments, businesses, and citizens alike to secure communications, safeguard personal information, and conduct business online. Deliberately weakening encryption threatens the integrity of governance, the safety of online commerce, and the interpersonal relationships that compose our daily lives. We must not sacrifice our core values to the threat of terrorism: the solution to such threats must entail better protecting our basic rights and the technologies that advance them.” — Christopher Parsons, Research Associate and Managing Director of the Telecom Transparency Project at the Citizen Lab, Munk School of Global Affairs

CryptoAUSTRALIA is committed to its vision of a society where everyone in Australia has the necessary skills to defend their privacy. Our continued mission is to inform and educate ordinary citizens and professionals on privacy and information security. We develop, engage, and grow a community that is concerned with privacy matters.

On our upcoming workshop, you can learn to install and configure your own end-to-end encrypted chat server. Click here for more details and RSVP.

Image courtesy of liz west