Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance called encryption on iPhones a "gift to sex traffickers," the Washington Post reports. In his written testimony for the Senate Judiciary Committee, Vance called for "federal legislative action" to prevent Silicon Valley companies from making themselves "the unregulated gatekeepers of critical evidence." At the Senate Judiciary Committee's hearing today, Facebook’s Product Management Director for Privacy Jay Sullivan will defend Facebook's plan to implement end-to-end encryption across all of its messaging applications. In anticipation of the hearing, more than a hundred organizations, industry groups, and individuals published a letter addressed to officials in the US, the UK, and Australia arguing that the dangers of weakening encryption outweigh the benefits.
David Kaye, the UN special rapporteur on freedom of expression, yesterday urged the Ethiopian government to stop arbitrarily shutting down the Internet in the country, according to Reuters. Ethiopia only has one Internet service provider, and it's owned by the state. The government most recently shut off the Internet last Thursday, saying it was necessary to mitigate a cyberattack that was targeting financial institutions.
The Wall Street Journal notes that the European Union is making moves toward implementing its own version of the United States's Magnitsky Act. Euractiv cites the EU’s new chief diplomat Josep Borrell as saying, "We have agreed to launch the preparatory work for a global sanctions regime to address serious human rights violations, which will be the European Union equivalent of the so-called Magnitsky Act of the United States."