The Workshop on Encryption and Mechanisms for Authorized Government Access to Plaintext was convened on June 23-24, 2016, in Washington, D.C., under the auspices of the Computer Science and Telecommunications Board of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The workshop was sponsored by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI).
The workshop was planned by an appointed planning committee and by Academies’ staff (Appendix C). Invited participants (Appendix D) along with the planning committee were convened to discuss, in an objective and technically rigorous way, potential encryption strategies that would enable access to plaintext information by law enforcement or national security agencies with appropriate authority. Appendix A provides the full statement of task, and Appendix B provides the agenda for the workshop. Speakers were invited to participate based on their own knowledge and experience; the views expressed at the workshop do not necessarily reflect the official views of their organizations. Although the focus of the workshop was on technical issues, several speakers were invited specifically to provide thoughts on the broader policy context, and discussion about the topics of encryption and authorized exceptional analysis frequently addressed open policy questions as well as technical issues. Moreover, as the proceedings of a single workshop, this summary does not cover the full landscape of technological solutions or legal and policy considerations.
The workshop was organized as follows. Opening remarks were delivered by Fred H. Cate, workshop planning committee chair. An introductory panel addressed the current encryption landscape, providing context for the three subsequent sessions, each introduced by a 30-minute presentation followed by a moderated discussion among the planning committee and invited participants. The workshop concluded with a final wrap-up session, during which invited participants, a few members of the audience, and members of the planning committee shared final points and reflections from the workshop.
These proceedings have been prepared by the workshop rapporteurs as a factual summary of what occurred at the workshop. The planning committee’s role was limited to planning and convening the workshop. The views contained in the report are those of individual workshop participants and do not necessarily represent the views of their employers, the workshop participants as a whole, the planning committee, the Academies, the sponsor, or any other affiliated organizations.
The meeting was open to the public. These proceedings were created from the presenters’ slides, notes, and a full transcript of the proceedings to serve as a public record of the workshop presentations and discussions. Workshop speakers were given an opportunity to review and correct the summaries of their remarks.