Decrypting the encryption debate in Asia-Pacific

Part 1 - Lead Organizer


Contact Person

Prasanth Sugathan

Organization / Affiliation (Please state "Individual" if appropriate)

Software Freedom Law Centre, India (


Legal Director



Economy of Residence


Primary Stakeholder Group

Civil Society


Part 2 - Session Proposal

Your proposal is for

Main Conference (Day 1-3)

Session Title

Decrypting the encryption debate in Asia-Pacific



Session Format


Where do you plan to organize your session?

Virtual / online

Specific Issues for Discussion

The growing threat to data and communication in the networked world has led to the adoption of end-to-end encryption, as it helps to secure online communication, build trust, and maintain confidentiality of the communication. The wide adoption of encryption has led law enforcement agencies, governments, child rights activists expressing concern that encryption is helping criminals and hampering them from getting the evidence needed for investigative purposes. Nations (such as India, Australia, UK, EU) are now asking companies to create “exceptional access” or break encryption. Proponents of encryption argue that whether intended to filter misinformation, sexual images of children online or provide access for law enforcement purposes, even providing “exceptional access” will make weaken the network, the Internet less safe and vulnerable In that backdrop, the round table would be discussing: a. The Indian Information Technology (Intermediary Guideline) Rules, 2021 and the litigation around it b. Amendments in TOLA in Australia c. Encryption vis-a-vis CSAM d. Encryption vis-a-vis economy

Describe the Relevance of Your Session to APrIGF

All of us are generating huge amounts of data, the privacy and integrity of which is under threat, leading to a trust deficit. To mitigate the threat to data security, E2E is being used across the world to secure data communication online from bad actors. However, with rising cybercrime, the dissemination of misinformation and CSAM through encrypted platforms, law enforcement agencies have expressed concern that E2E is hampering them from getting the evidence needed for investigative purposes and have been seeking “exceptional access”. Governments across the world including APAC are drafting new regulations, raising concerns that such acts will weaken the network, make the Internet less safe and vulnerable. The proposed workshop plans to delve on the recent developments related to the Encryption debate in APAC, discussing the regulatory developments from India and Australia; highlight the main arguments of the encryption debate especially, adequacy of initiatives taken so far: what more needs to be done. Stakeholders from APAC would be invited to speak on the ongoing initiatives being taken by their governments, business and stakeholders related to encryption; identify the best practices and discuss if they can be replicated elsewhere to rebuild the trust over the internet.

Methodology / Agenda

We propose a 90 mins interactive session, where audience engagement will be given priority. Initially the moderator will introduce the issue. Followed by a brief presentation on the development in India and Australia. This would be followed by questions from the audience and then by a discussion where 3-4 experts would share their view point. , followed by audience interaction. We plan to use audience polls to gauge their opinion on the topic. Agenda Introduction to the issue 5 mins Initial presentation on the Indian and Australian development 15 mins Audience Question -10 mins Outlining the critical questions and asking experts to share their views on the topic 40 mins Audience Interaction and Audience Poll 15 mins Summarizing the session 5 mins

Please provide 3 subject matter tags that best describe your session.

#Encryption #Privacy #DataSecurity


Moderators & Speakers Info (Please complete where possible)

Name Designation Organization Economy of Residence Stakeholder Group Gender Status of Confirmation
Moderator (Primary) Namrata Maheshwari Encryption Policy Fellow Access Now India Civil Society Female Confirmed
Moderator (Back-up) Prasanth Sugathan Legal Director Software Freedom Law Centre, India India Civil Society Male Confirmed
Speaker 1 Mishi Choudhary Founder & Technology Lawyer Software Freedom Law Centre, India India Civil Society Female Confirmed
Speaker 2 Hanna Bozakov Head of Marketing Tutanota Denmark Private Sector Male Confirmed
Speaker 3 Rajnesh Singh Regional Vice President Internet Society Singapore\/Australia Technical Community Male Confirmed
Speaker 4 Jeremy Malcom Executive Director Prostasia Foundation India Civil Society Male Confirmed


Please explain the rationale for choosing each of the above contributors to the session.

The moderator and speakers are being chosen based on their active engagement in the subject. The speakers are chosen due to their diverse experience, backgrounds, age and expertise. Moderator Namrata Maheshwari is an Encryption Policy Fellow in AccessNow and a youth; Mishi Choudhary is the Founder of SFLC and their organisation is leading a litigation around the IT Rules 2021 in India, especially on issues related to encryption. Paul Brook from Internet Australia is involved in the campaign against TOLA Amendments and has recently released a paper on encryption. Jeremy Malcom is involved in CSAM issues and encryption debate. Rajnesh Singh represents Internet Society who are the founding members of the Global Encryption Coalition. We plan to have a speaker representing LEA and from industry to have a balanced discussion.