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10:00 Uhr - 11:30 Uhr | Weizenbaum-Institut, Hardenbergstraße 32, 10623 Berlin

What end-to-end encryption means for platform governance

Join the talk by Martin J. Riedl on negotiating privacy, content moderation and platform regulation in encrypted spaces. Hosted by our research group “Technology, Power and Domination”

End-to-end encryption (E2EE) in messaging services is critical to free expression and communicative privacy. As the profile and popularity of apps such as WhatsApp, Signal, and Telegram rises, so do their user numbers. An increased call for more regulation — considering the threats spread through encrypted platforms, such as the distribution of terrorist content, child sexual abuse material (CSAM), and false and misleading information — is accompanied by new legislative proposals in the United States, the European Union, and other locales. Meanwhile, tech-corporations are setting more priorities on encryption: Meta strives to provide E2EE as a default for a diverse array of its properties and messenger services. Apple now allows its users to end-to-end encrypt their cloud-stored data.

This yields important questions for scholars of platform governance. On Feb. 9, the talk by Martin J. Riedl (University of Texas) aims to provide a primer on the most pertinent issues and debates surrounding the platform governance of end-to-end encrypted spaces. What does content moderation look like in end-to-end encrypted settings? What political considerations might undergird platforms’ move to providing E2EE as a default? How does recent regulation fit into a larger historical narrative of "crypto wars"? And, perhaps most importantly, what are idiosyncratic harms in encrypted settings, and how can platforms mitigate them?

Martin J. Riedl, is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Propaganda Research Lab at the Center for Media Engagement, University of Texas at Austin.

The Weizenbaum Institute's research group “Technology, Power and Domination” explores how digital infrastructures change social domination and power. Their work focuses on the power implications, social conflicts and possibilities for democratic design entailed in digital platforms and artificial intelligence.

The event will take place on Feb. 9, 2023 from 11am - 12.30pm, at the Weizenbaum Institute. No registration necessary.