Decryption Mandates And Global Internet Freedom

Monday, September 26, 2016
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The potential international effects of a domestic decryption mandate have been a significant factor in the debate over U.S. encryption policy.  Some fear that a U.S. decryption mandate would empower authoritarian regimes and would clash with the United States’ international Internet-freedom agenda.

Unfortunately, the debate over encryption policy’s international effects has been conducted principally in ideological terms rather than on the basis of observable facts and fact-based predictions about future developments.  This paper proposes key questions to stimulate and guide a more factually informed debate.  It also offers several recommendations for shifting the debate onto sounder empirical terrain. 

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