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Ipsos finds security interests override digital privacy

March 2, 2016  

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The results of a new survey, commissioned by the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) and conducted by global research company Ipsos across 24 countries find that most global citizens favour enabling law enforcement to access private online conversations if they have valid national security reasons to do so, or if they are investigating an individual suspected of committing a crime.

The study, entitled the 2016 CIGI-Ipsos Global Survey on Internet Security and Trust, comes at a time when tech giant Apple is defying the FBI’s orders to assist in accessing data stored in an iPhone owned by one of the two suspects who killed 14 people in San Bernardino, California, in December.

According to responses, most global citizens say law-enforcement agencies should have a right to access the online communications of its citizens (70%), especially those suspected of a crime (85%). As the Apple case unfolds today, 60% of Americans and 63% of internet users in 24 different countries think that companies should not develop technologies that prevent law enforcement from accessing the content of a user’s online data.

The survey of 24,143 users was conducted in 24 countries between the dates of Nov. 20 and Dec. 4, 2015 in Canada, Australia, Brazil, China, Egypt, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Poland, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden, Tunisia, Turkey and the United States.


“The findings in this survey shine an important light on the nexus between trust, national security, and privacy in the increasingly dark and ungoverned space of the Internet,” said Fen Hampson, director of CIGI’s Global Security & Politics Program and co-director of the Global Commission on Internet Governance. “Some of the most pressing challenges that the international community faces today live in this interconnection, and continue to illuminate the need for innovative governance solutions.”

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