Press release: Universal Privacy Alliance launches privacy legal defence fund at DevCon

Nym
4 min readOct 10, 2022

Founding event to be held in Bogotá, Colombia, with guest speaker Edward Snowden.

Bogotá, Colombia, 10 October 2022 — Today, Universal Privacy Alliance (UPA), a new alliance for privacy, has been launched by a group of leading privacy technology companies in Web3, including Nym, p0xeidon labs (Manta Network), Orchid, Secret Network (SCRT Labs) and Oasis Network (Oasis Foundation), with the vision of building and defending a post-surveillance society.

Privacy technologies are increasingly being censored, suppressed, and even criminalised. In response, UPA has formed to urgently shift the narrative globally by promoting and defending privacy as the default.

A UPA legal defence fund will be set up for the purpose of defending the right to build and use full stack privacy tools. For the first time in history, OFAC of the United States of America imposed sanctions on code rather than a country, organisation or person as demonstrated by the designation of Tornado Cash as a Specially Designated National. This puts users and developers throughout the ecosystem at risk of violating the law.

UPA brings together the leading privacy-preserving technologists and advocates from both Web 3.0 and the traditional web, regardless of blockchain or technology stack.

Harry Halpin, CEO of Nym says: “Privacy is a fundamental right, and a common defence alliance and fund is needed to allow the internet to go beyond both current surveillance-based business models and unjustified state surveillance.”

Kenny Li, cofounder of p0xeidon Labs says: “We are excited to have the opportunity to collaborate with all of the members of UPA in achieving a common objective – fighting for self-sovereign privacy.”

Guy Zyskind, CEO of SCRT Labs says: “Privacy is an essential component of any system, online or offline. It protects our right to consent and to express our freedoms safely. Secret Network has always been at the forefront of developing privacy technologies for Web3, and we are proud to support UPA from its earliest stages as we work together to build a better foundation for the future.”

Dr Steven Waterhouse, CEO of Orchid says: “In our modern era of corporate and government surveillance, the individual right to privacy continues to be eroded. As we build the next generation of the internet, instituting privacy as a fundamental value at the core of the technology is more important than ever before. Society has a chance to ensure a brighter future for people around the world and Orchid is proud to support UPA in this mission.”

Jernej Kos, Director of Oasis Foundation says: “It is important that we shape the narrative around privacy. It has steadily grown to be a fundamental right that is protected by legislation and governments on one hand, but then on the other, it is often suppressed and mismanaged. We hope that UPA can highlight the importance of privacy-preserving technology and why it should be bolstered in a world that is moving toward Web3.”

The UPA founding event will be held on 11 October in Bogota, Colombia. Edward Snowden will be in conversation with Michelle Lai, Harry Halpin of Nym and Jarrad Hope of Status. A panel will follow with ZCash, Polygon, Manta Network and Aztec.

For the threat of surveillance to be addressed technically and economically, the nascent privacy industry needs to work together to better understand and engage with the current regulatory landscape and defend each other from attack. Collective action is the only way to advance instilling privacy as a default in global communications.

Recently, a new “Geneva Declaration for Targeted Surveillance and Human Rights” was launched with signatories, including Nym, from government, civil society, academics and technology organisations, condemning the proliferating use of surveillance technology. This collective commitment to human rights in the digital age is a solid first step which will be followed closely by urgent concrete action for any real change to better security for human rights and democracy.

UPA will facilitate such necessary action and be a bedrock of privacy as a default, creating the security and democracy that societies need to thrive and flourish.

To join UPA in building a post-surveillance society, visit https://privacyalliance.com/.

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About Nym:

Nym is an open-source, incentivized, and decentralised platform that protects privacy at the network level of any application, wallet or digital service. Nym protects against traffic pattern analysis and metadata surveillance. More: nymtech.net

Media contact: Candice Teo, candice@nymtech.net

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