19 November 2015 - 11.00-12.30 - Room 3, Palais de l'Europe, Interpretation: FR/EN- Sponsored by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe


Mass surveillance is often depicted as important for fighting international terrorism and organised crime. Is encryption the ultimate answer to mass surveillance and what is the price to pay?

Initiative 1

Cryptocat, INRIA, France

Cryptocat is a Free and Open Source Software (FL/OSS) browser extension that makes use of web technologies in order to provide easy to use, accessible, encrypted instant messaging to the general public. It leverages the accessibility and portability offered by web technologies in order to allow encrypted instant messaging an opportunity to better permeate on a social level. The goal is to investigate the feasibility of implementing cryptographic systems in highly accessible mediums, and to address the technical and social challenges of making encrypted instant messaging accessible and portable.


Mr Nadim KOBEISSI, Lebanon/Canada/France, PhD researcher and Cryptocat lead developer

Nadim Kobeissi is a PhD researcher studying applied cryptography at INRIA's PROSECCO lab. He is interested in provable security, usable encryption, formal logic, JavaScript and the web. His software projects, which have focused on making encryption and online privacy more ubiquitous, include Cryptocat, a world-renown encrypted instant messaging platform, miniLock, a modern standard for file encryption, and Peerio, a full-featured open source productivity platform with end-to-end encryption. Originally from Lebanon, Nadim completed his undergraduate studies in 2013 in Montréal, Canada, and currently resides in Paris.

Initiative 2

Mass surveillance vs encryption, Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe

The main goal of this idea/initiative is to foster the widespread use of encryption, by making it easier to be used by non-experts, more accessible and safer against unlawful intrusion by third parties, including intelligence services.


Mr Pieter OMTZIGT, Netherlands, Member of the House of Representatives of the Netherlands and Member of the Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly, Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights (tbc)

Pieter Omtzigt is Member of the House of Representatives of the Netherlands and Member of the Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly. In the Parliamentary Assembly, he serves as a member of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights and of the Committee on the Honouring of Obligations and Commitments by Members States of the Council of Europe (Monitoring Committee). He is also a member of the Sub-Committee on Human Rights and the Sub-Committee on the Rights of Minorities.


Discussants are invited to take part in the Labs in order to share their experience with the presented democratic initiatives and try to bring broader perspectives to the following discussions.

Ms Nighat DAD, Pakistan, Executive Director, Digital Rights Foundation

Nighat Dad is the Executive Director of Digital Rights Foundation, Pakistan. She is an accomplished lawyer and a human rights activist. Ms Dad is one of the pioneers who have been campaigning around open access to internet. She has been actively engaged at a policy level on issues of Internet Freedom, Women and ICTs, Digital Security and Women’s empowerment.  Ms Dad has conducted several trainings across Pakistan, Afghanistan and in the region on ICTs for development and Digital Security for activists, journalists, media organisations and young women and girls. Ms Dad maintains a strong engagement with the broader civil society networks at national and international levels and strongly believes in inclusion, participation, and openness.

Mr Thomas DRAKE, USA, National Security Whistleblower, Former NSA Senior Executive

Thomas Drake is a former senior executive at the National Security Agency where he blew the whistle on multi-billion dollar fraud, intelligence failures, and widespread violations of the rights of citizens through secret mass surveillance programs after 9/11. As retaliation and reprisal, the Obama Administration indicted Mr. Drake in 2010 for espionage against the US. However, he faced down 35 years in prison and kept his freedoms. A recipient of several awards for whistleblowing, Mr. Drake now writes, speaks and teaches on whistleblowing, civil liberties, privacy, threats to democracy and society, secrecy, surveillance and abusive government power. 

Mr Christian KARAM, Lebanon, Lead Cyber Threat Researcher at the Cyber Research Lab at INTERPOL

Christian Karam is a Lead Cyber Threat Researcher at the Cyber Research Lab at INTERPOL. Mr. Karam develops the activities in the fields of global cyber threat research, future trends analysis, cyber intelligence and R&D within the INTERPOL Global Complex for Innovation (IGCI). Prior to joining INTERPOL, Mr. Karam was an independent security researcher, penetration tester, and security consultant for several firms in the private sector. Mr. Karam's subjects of expertise fall under different fields: Cryptography, Darknets, Future threats, Blockchain technology and Cryptocurrencies. Mr. Karam is a Certified Ethical Hacker, Certified Hacking Forensic Investigator, Licensed Penetration Tester, CISSP,  and holds degrees in Information Security Engineering, Cybersecurity and is currently pursuing advanced research in the areas of trend analysis and threat models.


Mr Christopher CHOPE, United Kingdom, Member of Parliament and Member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe

Christopher Chope is the Chairman of the European Conservatives Group in the Parliamentary Assembly and has also served as Chair of the Legal Affairs and Human Rights Committee and the Migration Committee. Barrister by profession, he has been a member for the UK Parliament for over 27 years and was a Minister in the Tatcher and Major governments.



Lab 2 - Technological responses
Palais de l'Europe - Room 1 19 Nov., 11.00-12.30
  • Diminuer la taille du texte
  • Augmenter la taille du texte
  • Imprimer la page
Challenges 2015