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Stalker Law: International Organizations Call Upon the Peruvian Government To Protect Its Citizens’ Privacy

DEEPLINKS BLOG
August 26, 2015

Stalker Law: International Organizations Call Upon the Peruvian Government To Protect Its Citizens’ Privacy

In an open letter directed to the congress of Peru’s Commission on Constitution and Rules, a coalition of international human rights organizations have expressed their concern about Legislative Decree 1182 (“DL 1182,” “Ley Acosadora,” or “Stalker Law” in English)--a Peruvian bill that allows law enforcement access to mobile phone location data in cases of flagrante delicto without a warrant, and requires telecom companies to retain data for a period of three years thus violating the fundamental rights of millions of Peruvians. The Commission on Constitution and Rules will be responsible for reviewing the Stalker Law which has already been signed by the President of Peru.

It’s only been a month since the Stalker Law was introduced, and yet regional organizations and online advocates from all over the globe are calling on Peruvian lawmakers to reject it entirely.

Stated in the coalition letter: "We underscore that international human rights legislation and principles clearly state that surveillance measures should be preceded by considerations of necessity and proportionality, in light of their invasive nature".

EFF has been following this story since the day DL 1182 was introduced to the public. Along with our partners Hiperderecho--a Peruvian NGO--and Access, we’ve created a space for citizens to contact their congressmen directly and express their concerns about the Stalker Law on our Action Center.

Below is the letter signed by EFF and 25 organizations worldwide:

Statement by civil society organizations on the new state surveillance measures in Perú

The undersigned individuals and organizations working for the defense of human rights on the internet write to urge the rejection of Legislative Decree 1182, enacted by the President of Perú at the end of July. This decree establishes new government surveillance tools in a way that contradicts international human rights standards.

The decree creates two obligations for Peruvian telecommunications providers. First, providers are ordered to provide the Peruvian national police with real-time location information about suspects of flagrant crimes, without a warrant. Second, the decree requires providers, including those that offer internet access services, to store communications metadata for three years.

Both ordered measures are illegal because they are incompatible with the human rights standards in the international treaties ratified by Perú. In particular, surveillance, including access to location information, that is pursued without a previous warrant fails to comply with the principle establishing that legitimate use of surveillance by law enforcement should be subject to independent review, with strict guarantees against abuse.

A court order for communications surveillance should only issue if a judicial authority determines that the substance of an application for communications surveillance meets the legal, substantive, and procedural requirements, including the burden of proof.

Government-mandated telecommunications data retention of all Peruvians for three years is an unnecessary and disproportionate measure for a democratic society. For this reason, such a policy harms privacy, freedom of expression, and data protection.

We understand that the fight against organized crime is a legitimate concern for governments trying to provide public security to its citizens. Nevertheless, the means and policies chosen by decision-makers should comply with basic human and civil rights standards including limits against potential abuse. We underscore that international human rights legislation and principles clearly state that surveillance measures should be preceded by considerations of necessity and proportionality, in light of their invasive nature. In order to be deemed proportional, surveillance should be limited to serious offenses and be used only when other less detrimental measures have been exhausted or resulted useless.

Consequently, we request the Commission of Constitution and Bylaws of the Peruvian Congress to reject Legislative Decree 1182 entirely, and we ask the three branches of government in Perú to redouble their efforts to apply human rights standards to any actual or future surveillance measures taking place in its territory.

Signatories:

Access - Global

Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) - Global

DATA - Uruguay

TEDIC - Paraguay

Asociación por los Derechos Civiles - ADC - Argentina

Derechos Digitales - América Latina

Fundación Karisma- Colombia

Instituto Beta Para Internet e Democracia (IBIDEM) - Brasil

Sursiendo, Comunicación y Cultura Digital - México

Asociación para el Progreso de las Comunicaciones (APC) - Global

Usuarios Digitales - Ecuador

Instituto Panameño de Derecho y Nuevas Tecnologías (IPANDETEC)

Fundación Redes Para el Desarrollo Sostenible (REDES) - Bolivia

Acceso Libre - Venezuela

ACI-Participa (Honduras)

Colnodo - Colombia

La Quadrature du Net - Europa

Instituto Demos - Guatemala

Associated Whistleblowing Press (AWP) - Global

Asociación Trinidad/ Radio Viva - Paraguay

Cooperativa Tecnológica Primero de Mayo/Enlace Popular - México

Privacy International - Global

Nodo TAU - Argentina

Colectivo Actantes - Brazil

Open Net Korea - South Korea

Australian Privacy Foundation - Australia

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