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.

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
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Challenges 2015