The Global Network Initiative announced today that it was joining the #SaveCrypto campaign and called on the White House to support strong encryption as an essential foundation for the protection of freedom of expression and the privacy of Internet users worldwide.

“We are pleased to add our voice to the #SaveCrypto campaign,” said GNI Executive Director Judith Lichtenberg.

“By backing strong encryption, the White House can send a global message in support of the security, privacy and freedom of expression of all Internet users,” she said.

GNI believes that information and communications technology companies have a responsibility to uphold relevant best practices on encryption to protect the data of their users. Governments should not compromise the overall security of the Internet, or that of individual users, by legislating or otherwise mandating the use of ‘backdoors’ or vulnerabilities.

Encrypted communications are particularly important for journalists and human rights defenders who need to communicate confidentially with sources without the threat of surveillance and intimidation.

ICT companies have an obligation to comply with lawful government demands. Companies play an important role in addressing cybercrime, national security threats and the safety of children online. We believe that robust, widespread encryption serves these important goals. In addition, encryption helps ensure the privacy and free expression rights of users, and helps ensure adherence to the rule of law.

GNI’s submission in support of encryption to the first report to the UN Human Rights Council by David Kaye, UN Special Rapporteur for freedom of expression on encryption, anonymity and digital communications is here.

GNI also participated in the Politico Cybersecurity Summit in Brussels in June.