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Should companies have to unlock encrypted communication in the case of a crime? - Civil Discourse for Classrooms

Grade Level Grades 6-12
Resource Type Activity

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Thinkalong.org is a free, evidence-based interactive tool for students to develop media literacy skills by applying the 5 Key Questions of Media Literacy to public media content. Importantly, the tool does not require registration for teachers or students, abides by student privacy laws, and is advised by a board of both youth and educators.

Each module consists of:

  • a compelling and timely question;
  • related current and age-appropriate public media content including audio, video, and text;
  • extension resources for advanced or highly-interested students;
  • student graphic organizers;
  • a simple debate tool;
  • a teacher's guide to the module;
  • and a guide to the 5 Key Questions of Media Literacy.

This Teacher's Guide supports the Should companies have to unlock encrypted communication in the case of a crime? module on thinkalong.org. Here is the full module and below is a summary.

A battle is brewing between tech companies and law enforcement over access to private data. As smartphones become more secure, law enforcement officials are calling for tech companies to create backdoors to these devices—a way for someone with a court order to have access to all of the encrypted data on the phone. Tech companies have refused, citing concerns about hacking and private security.

To use this module with learners in any setting, we recommend using one of the structured discussion formats outlined at thinkalong.org/structuring-discussions. You can find options for a small or large group, so that all students or just a few participate, and examples of some discussion formats.

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