- For the first time, this year's World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, focused more on tech than finance.
- The forum featured speakers like Microsoft's Satya Nadella and Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg.
- Much of the conversation focused on the ongoing battle between Silicon Valley executives that want to protect encryption and government efforts to enable transparency when needed for law enforcement purposes.
WEF participants were split between those that side with government and those that prefer to protect user’s privacy.
"I don’t think it is Silicon Valley’s decision to make about whether encryption is the right thing to do," said AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson, according to The Register.
In December, FBI Director James Comey testified about concerns that terrorists can use encrypted apps to plan attacks. Businesses that sell phones whose stored messages can't be decrypted by third parties or apps that encrypt voice and data end-to-end must be able to unencrypt if given a court order, Comey said.
Microsoft president Brad Smith expressed concern about the position that puts companies like Microsoft in. "You could be placed in a situation where you have to decide what law to break," said Smith. "It isn’t a comfortable place to be."
Some of the finance-focused attendees discussed digital currencies such as Bitcoin. Representatives from the International Monetary Fund admitted “it may be time to start learning the digital currency.”