OHCHR Call for Comments on Encryption and Anonymity Online

David Kaye, the UN Special Rapporteur on protection and promotion of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, has issued a call for submission of information related to the use of encryption and anonymity in digital communications. The deadline for comments is Tuesday, February 10, 2015.

In his first thematic report as Special Rapporteur, Kaye has decided to focus on the legal frameworks that govern the intersection between freedom of expression and anonymous transactions and communications online.

As part of the report-writing process, Kaye is soliciting comments from all stakeholders – States, corporate entities, civil society, international or regional institutions, and other non-governmental organizations – on national regulatory structures, the appropriate scope of the right of freedom of expression as it relates to anonymity online, and on the technical aspects of anonymous or encrypted transactions and communications.

The full text of the call for comments is below.

Call for submission of Information

Special Rapporteur will study the use of encryption and anonymity in digital communications in his 2015 HRC report

The Special Rapporteur on the protection and promotion of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, David Kaye, is currently preparing a report on the legal framework governing the relationship between freedom of expression and the use of encryption to secure transactions and communications, and other technologies to transact and communicate anonymously online. This report will be presented to the Human Rights Council in June, 2015.

To prepare his study, Mr. Kaye is gathering information on national laws, regulations, policies or practices that permit or limit, directly or indirectly, the use of encryption technologies and services or the ability of individuals to communicate anonymously online. All States are being asked called to submit information on their relevant national norms and policies.

Similarly, the Special Rapporteur would like to encourage all interested non-governmental stakeholders – including civil society, corporate actors, international and regional organizations, and national human rights institutions – to provide their views on the appropriate scope of the right to freedom of expression as applied to encryption and anonymity. He would particularly appreciate receiving comments addressing this matter from legal, state practice, or technical perspectives.

Any available information should be sent electronically to freedex@ohchr.org, not later than 10 February 2015.


About the Author(s)

Megan Graham

Former Assistant Managing Editor and Security, Privacy, and Technology Fellow at Just Security Follow her on Twitter (@meganmcgraham).