November 26, 2013 | By Katitza Rodriguez
Demand an End to Mass Surveillance: Support the People’s Principles
In 2013, we learned digital surveillance by world governments knows no bounds. Their national intelligence and other investigative agencies can capture our phone calls, track our location, peer into our address books, and read our emails. They do this often in secret, without adequate public oversight, and in violation of our human rights.
We won’t stand for this anymore.
Over the past year, nearly 300 organizations have come together to support the International Principles on the Application of Human Rights to Communications Surveillance. These 13 Principles establish a clear set of guidelines that establish the human rights obligations of governments engaged in communications surveillance.
These Principles were developed through months of consultation with technology, privacy, and human rights experts from around the world, and have the backing of hundreds of organizations from around the globe. But today, these Principles are about to receive their most important endorsement: the people’s.
Several of the civil society organizations behind these Principles have come together to launch an Action Center to enable people around the world to lend their name and support to the Principles. We will deliver this petition of signatures to the United Nations, world leaders, and other policymakers who need to hear the voice of the people demanding an end to mass surveillance.
The Principles make clear:
- States must recognize that mass surveillance threatens the human right to privacy, freedom of expression, and association, and they must place these Principles at the heart of their communications surveillance legal frameworks.
- States must commit to ensuring that advances in technology do not lead to disproportionate increases in the State’s capacity to interfere with the private lives of individuals.
- Transparency and rigorous adversarial oversight is needed to ensure changes in surveillance activities benefit from public debate and judicial scrutiny, this includes effective protections for whistleblowers.
- Just as modern surveillance transcends borders, so must privacy protections.
The organizations behind the Action Center include Access, Chaos Computer Club, Center for Internet & Society-India, Center for Technology and Society at Fundação Getulio Vargas, Digitale Gesellschaft, Digital Courage, Electronic Frontier Foundation, OpenMedia.ca, Open Rights Group, Fundacion Karisma, Samuelson-Glushko Canadian Internet Policy & Public Interest Clinic, SHARE Foundation and Privacy International. Your signatures will be kept in accordance with our privacy policies.
Support the principles by adding your signature, and encouraging those around you to do the same.