Surveillance and Human Rights
In 2013, EFF and a coalition of hundreds of experts and human rights activists put the finishing touches on the Necessary and Proportionate Principles. These 13 Principles articulate how international human rights law should be applied to government surveillance. National and local activists from Mexico to Egypt have used the Principles to push for stronger protections against digital surveillance. We’ve seen them used in litigation, legislation, administrative work, and advocacy campaigns, as well as debated in both regional and international policy venues. As part of our work to assist lawmakers, activists and judges in creating modern, effective surveillance law that are respectful of human rights, EFF and our partners are working to build a complete legal toolkit around the Principles, starting with a detailed legal backgrounder and analysis, explaining their basis in international human rights law.
Reviews of Local Surveillance Law:
In 2015, EFF collaborated with Latin American groups and individuals to compile local country reports aimed at analyzing state communications surveillance and the protection of fundamental rights in Latin America. The reports explain the concept of communications surveillance, according to the definition set by international human rights standards, and discuss how state surveillance activities are often at odds with certain fundamental rights recognized in constitutions, regulations, and law. The reports analyze local surveillance activities vis-à-vis the 13 Principles, a set of international standards that articulate the duties and obligations of states when engaging in communications surveillance, and provide public policy recommendations as the basis for future law reform.
- State Communications Surveillance and Protection of Fundamental Rights in Peru
- State Communications Surveillance and the Protection of Fundamental Rights in Chile
- State Communications Surveillance and the Protection of Fundamental Rights in Colombia
- State Communications Surveillance and the Protection of Fundamental Rights in Mexico
- State Surveillance of Communications in Brazil and the Protection of Fundamental Rights
- Vigilancia Estatal de las Comunicaciones en Brasil y la Protección de los Derechos Fundamentales
- Vigilancia Estatal de las Comunicaciones y Protección de los Derechos Fundamentales en Argentina
- Vigilancia Estatal de las Comunicaciones y Protección de los Derechos Fundamentales en Chile
- Vigilancia Estatal de las Comunicaciones y Protección de los Derechos Fundamentales en Colombia
- Vigilancia Estatal de las Comunicaciones y Protección de los Derechos Fundamentales en México
- Vigilancia estatal de las comunicaciones y derechos fundamentales en Paraguay
- Vigilancia Estatal de las Comunicaciones y Derechos Fundamentales en Perú
- Vigilancia Estatal de las Comunicaciones y Protección de los Derechos Fundamentales en Uruguay
All around the world, people are taking on the surveillance machine -- and winning. EFF has been working in tandem with successful advocates in Colombia, Zimbabwe, Egypt and beyond to identify some of the best strategies for challenging proposals and surveillance practices which erode civil liberties. We have gathered counter-surveillance success stories to share with a global coalition of advocates who are encountering problematic proposals in their own countries. We’re sure that this list of examples will continue to grow.
- Success story: Protecting privacy of web commenter (Chile)
- Success story: Breaking news about data retention (Argentina)
- Success story: Turning the tide against online spying (Canada)
- Success story: Dismantling UK’s biometric ID database (UK)
- Success story: Mobilizing netizens to stop cyber spying (US)
- Success story: An Effective Protester is a Secure Protester (Brazil)
- Success story: How Brazilian Activists Took Charge When Public Demand For Internet Security Intensified (Brazil)
- Success story: CriptoRally in Mexico City: A creative approach to fighting the Ley Telecom (Mexico)
- Success story: Blogging Under Surveillance (Germany)
- Success story: Why Metadata Matters: The Dangers and Revealing Nature of Data Retention (Germany)
- Success story: How Digital Rights Ireland Litigated Against the EU Data Retention Directive and Won (Ireland)
- Success story: Ameliorating the Implementation of the Polish Data Retention Mandates Law (Poland)
- Success story: Who Has Your Back - Protecting Your Data From Governmental Request (US)
- Success story: The Dutch Transparency Battle: Data Requests and a User’s Right to Know (Amsterdam)
- Success story: Mapping The Canadian Government’s Telecommunications Surveillance (Canada)
- Success story: Fighting Against Extraterritorial Powers in the US FISA Amendment Act of 2008 and Similar Legislation (Belgium)
- Success story: Rallying to End Subscriber Registration Regulations in Zimbabwe (Zimbabwe)
- Success story: Defeating the Draft Communications Data Bill (UK)
Through our Global Surveillance and Human Rights Project, advocates will learn how to effectively fight overreaching government surveillance proposals around the world. By working together with advocates, lawyers, journalists, bloggers, and security experts on the ground, we built a Surveillance and Human Rights Camp in which we mapped specific problems posed by invasive surveillance infrastructure and devise regional and national solutions, strategies, and tactics. Together, we share knowledge on existing legislative initiatives, international fora, and other venues where we can make an impact, and devise strong legal safeguards, based on a realistic understanding of the technological threats, against government access to people’s communications and data.
EFF Related Content: Surveillance and Human Rights
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