What is data encryption?
According to Internet Society, encryption is the process of scrambling or encrypting data so that it can only be read by someone with the means to return it to its original state. This process is important to secure online communications. It is a critical component upon which a trusted Internet is built. In its various types and levels, encryption affects the security of financial transactions, purchases, online bill payment and communications. In fact, it is a key to ensure the safety and rights of users around the world.
On the other hand, organizations, individuals and even some governments can weaken and attack the security and rights of people on internet, which means a threat to civil and digital rights and that has led to a worldwide debate on security and privacy.
The alliance for encryption in Latin America and the Caribbean (AC-LAC) is a group founded by 14 members and it already has 23 organizations such as Digital Rights in Chile, Karisma in Colombia, APC, ALAI, Article 19, ISOC Brazil, among other.
This regional Alliance seeks to advance a proactive agenda to promote and defend encryption in Latin America and the Caribbean to generate an ecosystem of trust, security, and stability of information and communication technologies, such as critical Internet infrastructure, its applications and services (Karisma, 2021).
This is how these organizations from various countries and sectors of the digital ecosystem of Latin America and the Caribbean have come together with the purpose of establishing a platform for the collective construction of skills and knowledge, based on encryption as an essential tool for security and the guarantee of human and fundamental rights in the region, such as freedom of expression and privacy. Additionally, it promotes the coordination of efforts with the different initiatives at the global, regional and national levels, generating spaces for exchange and mobilization in the face of the impact of the weakening of encryption on rights and security.
Its work focuses on four main areas:
Inform: by creating a dynamic center to share information and knowledge available on encryption worldwide and particularly in the region, where each relevant actor can share concerns and generate content and debate on the subject.
Engage: By building a platform that brings together different actors to exchange best practices among stakeholders on encryption-related issues.
Capacity and knowledge building: researching, producing reports and organizing workshops and open debates with multiple actors in the region (technical experts, human rights activists, journalists and also government officials).
Mobilize: Channeling research and knowledge to advocate for regulatory or legislative processes related to the promotion of encryption policies.
Encryption is an invisible tool that plays a critical role in our daily lives, acting as personal protective equipment for the inner workings of the Internet and keeping our communications, personal information such as location data, identity data, and medical history secure.
For this reason, as users we must encourage a responsible and safe use of the internet. We invite you to read more about AC-LAC and to take our free online course on Digital Safety and Security: