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Human Right and Encryption
Place of publication | Year of publication | Collation: 
Paris | 2016 | 83 p.
ISBN 978-92-3-100185-7
Wolfgang Schulz; Joris van Hoboken
Corporate author: 
Asia and the Pacific
Europe and North America
Latin America and the Caribbean

This publication follows UNESCO’s new approach to Internet issues, as endorsed in November 2015 on the occasion of its 38th General Conference. Our 195 Member States have adopted the CONNECTing the Dots Outcome Document, in which 38 options for future action from UNESCO are set out; and the Internet Universality principles (R.O.A.M.),

which advocates for a Human-rights-based, Open and Accessible Internet, governed by Multi-stakeholder participation.

Encryption is a hot topic in the current global discussion on Internet governance. This research delves into the subject, to outline a global overview of the various means of encryption, their availability and their potential applications in the media and communications landscape. The research explains how the deployment of encryption is affected by different areas of law and policy, and it offers detailed case studies of encryption in selected jurisdictions.

It analyzes in-depth the role of encryption in the media and communications landscape, and the impact on different services, entities and end users. Built on this exploration and analysis, the research provides recommendations on encryption policy that are useful for various stakeholders. These include signaling the need to counter the lack of gender sensitivity in the current debate, and also highlighting ideas for enhancing “encryption literacy”.

Resource Type: 
Case studies and research papers
Human rights / Human dignity
Level of education: 
Non-formal education


Human rights; Right to privacy; Freedom of expression; Internet