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[liberationtech] Huge Global Coalition Stands Against Unchecked Surveillance

Katitza Rodriguez katitza at
Wed Jul 31 09:15:22 PDT 2013

If your NGO would like to sign, please go to

Huge Global Coalition Stands Against Unchecked Surveillance

100+ Organizations Sign Thirteen Principles to Protect Human Rights
San Francisco - More than 100 organizations from across the globe –
including Privacy International, Access, and the Electronic Frontier
Foundation (EFF) – are taking a stand against unchecked communications
surveillance, calling for the governments around the world to follow
international human rights law and curtail pervasive spying.

The coalition of groups have all signed the International Principles on
the Application of Human Rights to Communication Surveillance – 13 basic
principles that spell out how existing human rights law applies to
modern digital surveillance. Written in response to the increasing
number of government surveillance standards that focus on law
enforcement and "national security" priorities instead of citizens'
rights, the principles include advice on how surveillance laws should
respect the law, due process, and include public oversight and
transparency. Current debates over government surveillance are often
limited by outmoded definitions of content versus metadata, or stored
data versus data in transit. The principles released today concentrate
on the core issue: how human rights protect all information that reveals
private information about an individual's communications.

"It's time to restore human rights to their place at the very heart of
the surveillance debate," said EFF International Director Danny O'Brien.
"Widespread government spying on communications interferes with
citizens' ability to enjoy a private life, and to freely express
themselves – basic rights we all have. But the mass metadata collected
in the U.S. surveillance program, for example, makes it extraordinarily
easy for the government to track what groups we associate with and why
we might contact them. These principles announced today represent a
global consensus that modern surveillance has gone too far and must be

The organizations signing the principles come from more than 40
different countries. The principles will be used to advocate for a
change in how present laws are interpreted, and new laws are crafted.

"International human rights law binds every country across the globe to
a basic respect for freedom of expression and personal privacy," said
EFF International Rights Director Katitza Rodriguez. "The pervasiveness
of surveillance makes standing up for our digital rights more important
than ever. And we need those rights to survive in a digital world, where
any state can spy on us all, in more detail than ever before. We know
that surveillance laws need to be transparent and proportionate, with
judicial oversight, and that surveillance should only be used when
absolutely necessary. Everything we've heard about the NSA programs
indicate that they fall far outside these international human rights

For the International Principles on the Application of Human Rights to
Communications Surveillance:

For more on how the principles were developed:


Danny O'Brien
   International Outreach Coordinator
   Electronic Frontier Foundation
   danny at

For Spanish-language interviews:
   Katitza Rodriguez
   International Rights Director
   Electronic Frontier Foundation
   katitza at

Katitza Rodriguez
International Rights Director
Electronic Frontier Foundation
katitza at
katitza at (personal email)

Please support EFF - Working to protect your digital rights and freedom
of speech since 1990

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