Protect privacy against unchecked Internet surveillance!

By EDRi · September 25, 2013

EDRi joined a huge international coalition in calling upon European and
UN institutions to assess whether national and international
surveillance laws and activities are in line with their international
human rights obligations.

EDRi has endorsed a set of international principles against unchecked
surveillance. The 13 Principles set out for the first time an evaluative
framework for assessing surveillance practices in the context of
international human rights obligations.

A group of civil society organizations officially presented the 13
Principles on 20 September 2013 in Geneva at a side event attended by
Navi Pillay, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and
the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and
Opinion, Frank LaRue, during the 24th session of the Human Rights
Council. The side event was hosted by the Permanent Missions of Austria,
Germany, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland and Hungary.

Navi Pillay, speaking at the event, said that: “technological
advancements have been powerful tools for democracy by giving access to
all to participate in society, but increasing use of data mining by
intelligence agencies blurs lines between legitimate surveillance and
arbitrary mass surveillance.”

Frank La Rue made clear the case for a direct relationship
between state surveillance, privacy and freedom of expression in this
latest report to the Human Rights Council:
“The right to privacy is often understood as an essential requirement
for the realization of the right to freedom of expression. Undue
interference with individuals’ privacy can both directly and indirectly
limit the free development and exchange of ideas. … An infringement upon
one right can be both the cause and consequence of an infringement upon
the other.”

Speaking at the event, the UN Special Rapporteur remarked that:
“previously surveillance was carried out on targeted basis but the
Internet has changed the context by providing the possibility for
carrying out mass surveillance. This is the danger.”

13 International Principles on the Application of Human Rights to
Communications Surveillance

The UN High Commissioner Says Privacy Is a Human Right (20.09.2013)

The United Nations Meets 13 Principles Against Unchecked Surveillance

The third hearing of the European Parliament’s Civil Liberties Committee
into surveillance of and by EU member states (24.09.2013)