Centre for Internet & Society

Internet Governance Forum (IGF) 2015 will be held at Jao Pessoa in Brazil from November 10 to 13, 2015. The theme of IGF 2015 is Evolution of Internet Governance: Empowering Sustainable Development. ARTICLE 19 and Privacy International are organizing a workshop on Encryption and Anonymity on November 12, 2015. Pranesh Prakash is a speaker.

This was published on the IGF website.

Encryption and anonymity are two key aspects of the right to privacy and free expression online. From real-name registration in Iran to the UK Prime Minister's calls for Internet backdoors to encrypted communications, however, the protection of encrypted and anonymous speech is increasingly under threat. Recognising these challenges, the UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of expression, David Kaye, presented a report to the Human Rights Council in June 2015 which highlighted the need for greater protection of encryption and anonymity.

Five months on from the Special Rapporteur’s report, the participants in this roundtable will discuss his recommendations and the latest challenges to the protection of anonymity and encryption. For example, how can law enforcement demands be met while ensuring that individuals still enjoy strong encryption and unfettered access to anonymity tools? What steps should governments, civil society, individuals and the private sector take to avoid the legal and technological fragmentation of a tool now vital to expression and communication? How can individuals protect themselves from mass surveillance in the digital age?

At the end of the session, the participants should have identified areas for future advocacy both at the international and domestic levels as well as areas for further research for the protection of anonymity and encryption on the Internet.


  1. Moderator welcomes speakers and audience.
  2. Outline of key issues on encryption and anonymity, including summary of the UN Special Rapporteur's report.
  3. Each speaker speaks for 5-7 mins, giving their perspective re the issues.
  4. Questions from participants, including remote participation via Twitter.
  5. Conclusion and steps for further action.

About IGF 2015

Internet Governance Forum (IGF) is a multistakeholder, democratic and transparent forum which facilitates discussions on public policy issues related to key elements of Internet governance. IGF provides enabling platform for discussions among all stakeholders in the Internet governance ecosystem, including all entities accredited by the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), as well as other institutions and individuals with proven expertise and experience in all matters related to Internet governance.

After consulting the wider Internet community and discussing the overarching theme of the 2015 IGF meeting, the Multistakeholder Advisory Group decided to retain the title “Evolution of Internet Governance: Empowering Sustainable Development”. This theme will be supported by eight sub-themes that will frame the discussions at the João Pessoa meeting.