EVENT: After Snowden, new int’l certifications for digital privacy (NYC, 7/21)

 In Blog, Press Release


After Snowden, new int’l certifications for digital privacy (NYC, 7/21)

Free and Safe in Cyberspace is an international series of events that brings together institutions and experts across the atlantic to create an international wide-consensus on new non-governmental international ICT security and privacy standards and certifications for ICT system providers and lawful access schemes, that have ultra-high levels of assurance, and therefore can be expected to be judged by EU courts as solidly compliant with the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights. The event is co-organized by the Open Media Cluster and EU EIT Digital Privacy, Security and Trust.

After its first Brussels EU Edition 2015, the next event will be held in New York City on Thursday July 21, 2016. It will gather experts, advocates and professionals to further expand a constructive dialogue about the definition of new international standards and certifications on such crucial issues, including: Joseph Cannataci, UN Special Rapporteur on the Right of Privacy, and Max Schrems, leading Austrian privacy activist whose legal challenge lead to the invalidation of Safe Harbor agreement.

Recent evidence suggests that nearly all ICT devices and services are remotely, undetectably and scalably hackable by several actors, through vulnerabilities that are mostly state-mandated, state-planted or state-sanctioned. As a consequence, citizens and institutions suffer a great loss of civil rights and sovereignty, while EU and US IT companies are struggling to seek ways to offer the levels of trustworthiness that consumers demand, and US Constitution and EU Charter require, in order to innovate sustainably on the basis of measurable, comparable and meaningfully-high levels of trustworthiness. The relative success of new privacy solutions by Apple, new “end-2-end encryption” apps and new “cryptophones” – supported by self-serving statements of security agencies – has been met instead with high skepticism by experts as to the actual level of protection they provide against scalable attacks by state and non-states alike. Radically higher levels of security are especially critical to ensure the success and public benefit of safety-critical and privacy-critical autonomous systems.

The establishment and progressive recognition of such new certifications by industry and/or governments may provide a solution to the great economic uncertainties caused by invalidity of the Safe Harbour and the likely invalidation of Privacy Shield, albeit initially only for a few sectors. Such standards, in fact, will be necessarily very stringent, requiring very high level of security-by-design relative to complexity throughout their entire lifecycle, and therefore applicable initially only to the least complex ICT systems for the most critical use cases.

In order to succeed, such new standards for ultra-high assurance ICT systems, need to solve apparent dichotomy between privacy and safety. Most privacy experts and government officials insist we must choose between meaningful personal privacy and effective lawful access for criminal investigations. But what if the depth and comprehensiveness of such new technical and organizational oversight and safeguards needed to deliver meaningful personal privacy are overwhelmingly the same needed to certify privacy-respecting state lawful access and ICT providers compliance to such requests? After all both are essential to democracy and freedom and therefore the issue is not an “either or” choice but instead a “both or neither” challenge.

Needless to say, this comprehensive approach requires a direct involvement of world experts and a strong push for a broader discussion. Therefore, as a necessary follow-up to our fist EU event, the NYC workshop will feature many renowned speakers, including: Joseph Cannataci, UN Special Rapporteur on the Right of Privacy; Max Schrems, leading Austrian privacy activist; Daniel Castro, Vice President of Information Technology and Innovation Foundation;  Bill Pace. Executive Director, World Federalist Movement-Institute for Global Policy; Jovan Golic, renowned cryptographer and IT assurance expert; Rufo Guerreschi, director of Open Media Cluster and founder of the “Free and Safe in Cyberspace” event series.

Organized by the the Open Media Cluster (Now called Trustless Computing Association) and the EU EIT Digital Privacy, Security and Trust Action Line, the full-day New York City workshop in an invitation-only event. For more details: free-and-safe.org@freeandsafe


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