How Encryption Saves Lives and Fuels our Economy

New America

11/27/2018 - 12:00 to 17:30

Crypto Wars 2.0 has gone global. For five years, advocates for strong encryption have been locked in a debate with U.S. law enforcement officials over their demands that companies build encryption backdoors into their products. Yet both here and abroad, in countries like the U.K., France, and Australia, the focus has primarily been on whether it is feasible to build a secure backdoor. But what about the potential human costs of an encryption backdoor?

After all, encryption safeguards far more than data. Encryption saves the lives of activists living in repressive countries and of individuals in abusive relationships. It ensures that journalists can investigate and report on issues of public importance while protecting the confidentiality of their sources, and that people in over-surveilled communities can live, learn, and socialize freely, without the fear of being watched. Encryption ensures that our economy will continue to grow by helping to foster innovation, build consumers’ trust and confidence, and protect users’ personal data.


11:45am-12:00pm: Registration and Lunch

12:00-12:15pm: Introduction

  • Kevin Bankston, Director, New America's Open Technology Institute (@KevinBankston)

12:15-1:15pm: The Faces Behind the Algorithms: The Real People Encryption Protects

  • Assia Boundaoui, Journalist; Director and Producer of The Feeling of Being Watched (@assuss)
  • Matt Mitchell, Director of Digital Safety and Privacy, Tactical Technology Collective; Founder, CryptoHarlem (@geminiimatt)
  • Cindy Southworth, Executive Vice President and Founder of the Safety Net Project, National Network to End Domestic Violence (@CindySouthworth)
  • Cynthia Wong, Senior Researcher, Human Rights Watch (@cynthiamw)
  • Moderator: Neema Singh Guliani, Senior Legislative Counsel, ACLU

1:15-2:00pm: A Discussion on Human Rights and the International Crypto Debate

  • Scarlet Kim, Legal Officer, Privacy International (@scarletprim)
  • Nathan White, Senior Legislative Manager, Access Now (@NathanielDWhite)
  • Moderator: Sharon Bradford Franklin, Director of Surveillance & Cybersecurity Policy, New America’s Open Technology Institute

2:00-2:15pm: Coffee Break

2:15-2:45pm: Keynote Remarks

  • Robert Anderson, former FBI Executive Assistant Director for the Criminal, Cyber, Response, and Services Branch overseeing all criminal and cyber investigations

2:45-4:00pm: How Encryption Backdoors Would Affect Consumers and Innovation

  • Thomas Gannon, Vice President, Public Policy, Mastercard
  • Eugene Liderman, Director, Mobile Security Strategy, Google
  • Navroop Mitter, CEO, Armor Text (@NavroopMitter)
  • Jeff Ratner, Senior Policy Counsel, Apple
  • Kate Tummarello, Policy Manager, Engine (@ktummarello)
  • Moderator: Cecilia Kang, Technology Reporter, New York Times (@ceciliakang)

4:00-4:30pm: Closing Keynote: A Fireside Chat with Congressman Jim Himes

  • Congressman Jim Himes (D-Conn.), Ranking Member on the NSA and Cybersecurity Subcommittee on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (@jahimes)
  • Interviewer: Robyn Greene, Senior Policy Counsel and Government Affairs Lead, New America's Open Technology Institute (@Robyn_Greene)

4:30-5:30pm: Reception
Refreshments will be served.

New America
740 15th Street NW
Washington , DC 20005