Officials from some of the world’s most powerful governments are meeting in Canada this week to discuss proposals that would undermine cybersecurity while increasing surveillance and censorship. The officials represent the so-called “Five Eyes,” a surveillance partnership of intelligence agencies from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Meetings between the agencies are usually held in secret, but Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull of Australia told the press
what’s on his agenda for this week’s meeting: trying to weaken encryption
to catch terrorists and organized criminals online.
Both U.S. President Donald Trump and UK Prime Minister Theresa May have also made it clear they’re ready to turn their back on fundamental human rights in pursuit of quick, unproven national security strategies. May even tweeted
: “I'm clear: if human rights laws get in the way of tackling extremism and terrorism, we will change those laws to keep British people safe.” But each of these countries hold longstanding commitments to defending the rights they are presently ignoring.
Instead of implementing policies that will allow disproportionate censorship and surveillance to run rampant, the leaders of these five countries should commit to respecting rights, starting with recognizing how important encryption is for user rights, cybersecurity, and the infrastructure of the internet.
Further, they should invite all stakeholders to sit down at the table for a meaningful dialogue on secretive policies that impact the fundamental rights of billions of people worldwide.
Stand together with more than 300 civil society groups, tech companies, and global experts who have already offered unqualified support for encryption in an open letter at Securetheinternet.org by tweeting the open letter to each of the Five Eyes governments, using the links to the right.