On cybersecurity, who has got our back?: A debate

9 December 2016 - A Workshop on Other in Guadalajara, Mexico


This workshop will debate the motion “This house believes that, in the interest of collective cybersecurity, technology companies should not allow government access to consumer data”. Two teams, of two to three speakers each, will present a three-five minute statement either in defense or against the motion which will address cybersecurity and related issues, including data protection, encryption, and the role of different stakeholders in protecting consumer and citizen security, as well as the security, stability and resilience of the internet. 

In response to a request by the FBI to unlock customer data from one of its devices to help a crime investigation, Apple recently stated “The U.S government is asking us to undermine decades of security advancements that protect our customers...with implications far beyond the case at hand”. This case, which made headlines around the world, brought to the fore some of the most pressing internet governance issues of the day. The internet can only be a driver for inclusive and sustainable growth if it is open, free and secure. The implications of such debates are undoubtedly shaping the future of the internet. But was Apple right or wrong - would cooperation with the FBI have made the internet, and by extension its users, less secure? By enabling an open and frank debate, this session aims to contribute to more informed discussions about cybersecurity and related issues which will shape the future of the internet and the exercise of human rights online worldwide for years to come.



  • Brian Bergstein (MIT Technology Review)
  • Dominique Lazanski (GSMA)
  • Asad Baig (Media Matters for Democracy)
  • Tatiana Tropina (Max Planck Institute) 
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