18 Dec 2020

GPD and the Internet Society launch project to support advocacy on encryption and human rights

Global Partners Digital (GPD), with support from the Internet Society, today launches an ambitious new project to support encryption advocates worldwide: an expanded version of GPD’s popular World Map of Encryption Laws and Policies and a dedicated new resource hub with tools and insight for human rights defenders engaging in the encryption debate.

The new version of the Map now offers—in addition to its overview of laws and policies—an in-depth assessment of the encryption state of play in each country, vividly rendered via a “traffic light” visual interface. These changes preserve all the original functionality of the map, while adding new pathways to explore and contrast data and trends around encryption globally. 

It will be kept up-to-date through a dedicated monitoring and research function, crowd-sourced in part by the Internet Society’s global network of chapters, whose deep local expertise will help the Map retain the highest standards of accuracy. There is also a dedicated channel for users to submit new information or suggested corrections to the Map.

Alongside this reimagined Map, the encryption hub will serve as a live repository of tools and resources to support human rights defenders and others working to preserve and expand access to strong encryption. It will be regularly updated with new content, featuring:

  • A Human Rights Assessment Tool for encryption-related laws and policies
  • A series of explainers, unpacking the key international forums relevant to encryption;
  • A blog series bringing together insight and commentary from new and leading voices in the encryption debate (coming soon).
  • Detailed case studies of the encryption state of play from a human rights perspective in different countries (coming soon).

Commenting on the launch of the Hub and Map, GPD’s Executive Director Charles Bradley said: “Strong encryption is under renewed assault around the world—and it’s crucial that human rights defenders and others come together to resist. The tools and resources we roll out through this project are intended as a contribution to this collective effort; and we’re excited to deepen and continue this work, with the invaluable support of the Internet Society”.

Ryan Polk, Senior Policy Advisor at the Internet Society, said: “It is crucial to have timely and accurate information in the global fight to promote and defend encryption. As long-time users of the World Map of Encryption Laws and Policies, we are excited to support GPD’s efforts to make the resource stronger than ever. The Hub and Map gives encryption defenders a simple and effective way to learn about laws and policies around the world, and identify where they can take action.” 

For more information, contact Jonathan (jonathan{at}gp-digital.org).