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Monday, April 10, 2017

Strong encryption essential for future digital economy – ISOC

The Internet Society (ISOC) has called for strong encryption, describing it as an essential for future digital economy, reports ITRealms.

ISOC in its submission to the Group of 20 (G20) discussions wrap-up in Düsseldorf, Germany on Digital Economy Declaration, outlined a path for a strong digital future.

According to ISOC President and CEO, Kathy Brown, the current level of interconnection will only boost the market, where there is secure and trusted environment.

This, she said, cannot happen without a serious commitment by all parties to security and privacy.

Strong encryption, Brown noted, is an essential piece to the future of the world’s economy and the Internet Society believes it should be the norm for all online transactions.

“It allows us to do our banking, conduct local and global business, run our power grids, operate, communications networks, and do almost everything else,” she said.

ISOC president also said that encryption is a technical building block for securing infrastructure, communications and information; hence, it should be made stronger and universal, not weaker.

She lamented that rather than being recognized as the way to secure online transactions or conversations, all too often the debate focuses on the use of encryption as a way to thwart law enforcement.
“To undermine the positive role of encryption in the name of security could have devastating consequences,” she insisted.
Many great minds, ISOC chief pointed out, have already devoted considerable effort to resolving the conundrum posed by competing public policy objectives: providing security, safety and trust on the one hand, and law enforcement and legitimate policy goals on the other.
“But, it is time to stop kicking the encryption football up and down the field. Instead, we should recognize that encryption is key to the future digital economy and stop treating it as simply an obstacle to law enforcement. We need to deconstruct the issues faced by law enforcement and policy makers and agree together how we can achieve a trusted digital economy underpinned by encryption,” Ms Brown said.
ITRealms reports that this was the first time the G20 countries held a Ministerial on digital matters and also the first time that G20 is inviting non-government stakeholders to contribute to these issues.
Describing it as turning point that should not be missed, ISOC president emphasized that all views, including the technical perspective, must be at the table if the global community is to achieve progress on the G20’s Information and Communication Technology (ICT) goals.
“If the G20 countries are serious about strengthening their economies and continuing to deliver economic and social prosperity to their citizens in future, there are three key principles they should endorse and implement immediately,” she outlined.
These, Brown said, include that encryption is an important technical foundation for trust in the digital economy and should be the norm. Stressing that all users whether government, business or individual should use encryption to protect infrastructure, communications and the privacy and integrity of their data.
“Encryption technologies should be strengthened, not weakened,” ISOC president asserted.
Secondly, she said, is the fact that security of the digital economy is a shared responsibility that needs the expertise and experience of all stakeholders, across border and across disciplines.
“It is an urgent need that will require open, inclusive collaboration,” she said. 

Thirdly, the ISOC chief executive said that users’ rights should be at the heart of any decisions related to the digital economy, because both the customers and contributors to the success of the digital economy, has to be involved.
Therefore, she said, Internet Society called for ubiquitous encryption for the Internet.

“We strongly believe that this is the best foundation for trust in the digital economy, and we urge the G20 nations to stand behind encryption,” ISOC maintained.

ITRealms gathered that currently, there are estimated 360 million people that take part in cross-border e-commerce, with some 28 per cent of output in mature economies is digital. The Internet is thus set to contribute $6.6 trillion a year, or 7.1 per cent of the total GDP in the G20 countries.


Chuks Egbune/GEE
ITREALMS ... everything news digitally!

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