The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and Princeton University have convened a small group of experts to advance a more constructive dialogue on encryption policy. The working group consists of former government officials, business representatives, privacy and civil rights advocates, law enforcement experts, and computer scientists. Observers from U.S. federal government agencies attended a select number of working group sessions. Since 2018, the working group has met to discuss a number of important issues related to encryption policy, including how the relevant technologies and uses of encryption will evolve in the future.
In April 2019, the working group released two papers that were prepared by Princeton University’s Center for Information Technology Policy at the request of the Carnegie Encryption Working Group as briefings to provide insight into future trends related to encryption policy. One paper focuses on the impacts of quantum computing and another paper addresses how market trends, consumer behavior, and engineering realities will shape the deployment of user-controlled encryption. The papers do not take a position on encryption policy, rather they provide analysis of the future trends related to encryption and how they will shape the issues that policymakers must address.
The Encryption Working Group will continue its efforts to study this important issue and plans on releasing further briefings on aspects of the encryption policy debate around the world in the coming months.
Members of the Encryption Working Group include:
Note: This is not a comprehensive list of all members. Some wish to remain anonymous for the time being and to contribute in their personal capacity.
There will almost always be customer demand for user-controlled encryption, but its impact will depend on how widely it is deployed.
Quantum computers use different underlying mechanisms of physics than normal computers, and their future development could reshape many aspects of computing, including encryption.