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ISPA session at Parliament & Internet, 29 October: The politics of encryption

29th October 2015 @ 9:00 am - 5:00 pm


ISPA will hold a breakout session on encryption at the Parliament & Internet Conference 09:30-10:40 on  Thursday 29th October.

With the Investigatory Powers Bill expected to be published in October ahead of scrutiny from a joint parliamentary committee, this panel session will explore the politics of encryption.

Encryption is a fundamental building block of the modern digitally-enabled economy and has been in use by the technology and communications sectors since the very advent of these technologies. Encryption also plays a fundamental role in two key current policy debates – cyber security and national security – and at times the Government’s comments in this area seem somewhat contradictory.

In the national security debate, encryption is often seen as a challenge, and indeed, some have interpreted the Prime Minister’s promise that he would make “sure we do not allow terrorist safe spaces to communicate with each other” as a direct attack on the use of encryption by internet users, service providers and businesses.  While the Government has made clear that it does not actually want to ban encryption, their position is at odds with the official Government advice for businesses that emphasises the importance of encryption for keeping businesses and data safe and secure online.

The forthcoming Investigatory Powers Bill is likely to bring this issue to the centre-stage. Whilst Government has previously said that it wants the industry to meet it “half-way” on the matter, there have been repeated warnings from senior figures in law enforcement and intelligence agencies of the danger “going dark” as more and more communications use end-to-end encryption.  The panel will discuss how Government and industry can adopt policies that maintain business confidence in IT and communications systems through encryption, while at the same time ensuring the intelligence and security services have the necessary investigative powers with appropriate safeguards.

This is the first Parliament & Internet of the new parliament and will bring together ISPA members and newly elected MPs, wider industry and members of the House of Lords.

The speakers:

  • Gordon Corera, Security Correspondent, BBC News (Chair)
  • DCI Andrew Gould, Deputy Head of FALCON, Metropolitan Police
  • Erka Koivunen, Cyber-Security Adviser, F-Secure
  • Patrick Nuttall, Cyber-Security Adviser, KPMG and Head of the London Digital Security Centre
  • Professor Thomas Rid, Department of War Studies, King’s College London

This event is free and invitation only. Please email admin@ispa.org.uk to request a space.


29th October 2015
9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Event Categories:


P&I Conference


Portcullis House
London, SW1A 2LW United Kingdom + Google Map