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Protecting encryption: our message to Five Eyes

With Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the UK and the US all poised to challenge our right to encryption, we’re sending a message about what’s at stake for our privacy and security.

On the heels of a meeting between security officials from the UK, Australia, the United States, New Zealand and Canada — known as the Five Eyes — in Ottawa last week, OpenMedia has joined 83 other civil society organizations and eminent individuals in a joint open letter to calling for our right to encryption to be protected.

Officials from the five countries have agreed to ‘engage’ with communication service providers on the use of encryption in apps like WhatsApp and Signal.

Our message encourages governments to instead support the safety and security of users by strengthening the integrity of communications and systems. All governments should reject laws, policies, or other mandates or practices, including secret agreements with companies, that limit access to or undermine encryption and other secure communications tools and technologies.

Key facts on encryption:  

  • Strong encryption and the secure tools and systems that rely on it are critical to improving cybersecurity, fostering the digital economy, and protecting users.

  • The integrity and security of general purpose communications tools is relied upon by international commerce, the free press, governments, human rights advocates, and individuals around the world.

  • Insufficiently encrypted devices or hardware are prime targets for criminals.

  • Encryption and other anonymizing tools and technologies enable lawyers, journalists, whistleblowers, and organizers to communicate freely across borders and to work to better their communities.

  • Encryption assures users of the integrity of their data and authenticates individuals to companies, governments, and one another.

  • Encryption is a critical tool of general use. It is neither the cause nor the enabler of crime or terrorism.

Take a look at our full letter here:



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