The Necessary and Proportionate Principles and the US government

September 16, 2014 - by Amie Stepanovich, Drew Mitnick, and Kayla Robinson.

The Obama administration’s principles provide a framework for US compliance with its own stated objectives (the US Framework). The US Framework largely mirrors several of the International Principles on the Application of Human Rights to Communications Surveillance (Principles), an evaluative framework for assessing how human rights obligations and norms apply when conducting surveillance. This report compares US surveillance practices to its own stated Framework and the Principles.

The quest for privacy in Slovakia: The case of data retention

September 16, 2014 - by Martin Husovec and Lubomir Lukic.

After the Data Retention Directive was implemented at the national level throughout the EU, the resulting legislation was subject to numerous challenges at the national level. In April 2014, the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) – in its historical role as a constitutional court for the Union – repealed the entire Data Retention Directive and also broadly quashed any future hopes for similarly far­reaching measures. This, however, did not exhaust the advocacy role for civil society groups. Today, there is a great need to sweep clean numerous post­directive consequences. In Slovakia, this entails the review of the Act on Electronic Communications and some other acts. This report outlines the struggle of launching a challenge against the implementation of the directive in Slovakia.

Online surveillance: Public concerns ignored in Nigeria

September 16, 2014 - by John Dada and Theresa Tafida. This report looks at the government’s mass surveillance attacks on its citizens before and after it purchased USD 40 million of Israeli technology to be used for the monitoring and control of the internet.

Penumbra: Surveillance, security and public information in Uruguay

September 16, 2014 - by Fabrizio Scrollini. This report aims to analyse the most recent developments in terms of the use of technology for surveillance in Uruguay. It provides a description of key events and regulations that have recently emerged in Uruguay, analysing challenges to privacy. It provides a set of issues to develop an agenda for privacy according to the International Principles on the Application of Human Rights to Communications Surveillance.

13 Principles Week of Action: Location Privacy is a Human Right

September 16, 2014 - by Hanni Fakhoury.

By its very nature, our location is unique and uniquely revealing. Knowledge of where a person is and has been can reveal affiliations and habits, customs and patterns, religious affiliations, politics and preferences. While social media allows people to voluntarily share their location information with others, no one reveals all their location information all the time to others – especially not to the government. Technological developments have enabled governments to keep tabs on where a person has been in the past and where they are at any given moment. Our laws, however, have struggled to keep track with this new power.

Back to the digital cage

September 16, 2014 -by Rozi Bakó.

Romania joined the European Union (EU) in 2007. While the European Court of Justice (ECJ) has rejected the EU Data Retention Directive as invalid, Romanian legislators were preparing two laws which, if adopted, would throw the country into a 'digital cage': Draft Law 263/2014 on cyber security, and Draft Law 277/2014 on the registration of prepaid mobile SIM cards and public Wi­Fi users. Back in 2011, Romania was at the forefront of rejecting the EU Data Retention Directive, risking sanction from the European authorities. In this context, adopting laws that violate users’ right to privacy in 2014 would be a step back for the ICT policy­making standards in the country.


September 16, 2014 - by 何明諠(台灣人權促進會計畫專員) (Chinese, Traditional)

Marco Civil: A Brazilian reaction to surveillance on the internet

September 15, 2014 - by Veridiana Alimonti.

Bill No. 2126/2011 in Brazil, known as the Brazilian Civil Rights Framework for the Internet (in Portuguese: Marco Civil da Internet), was finally passed by the Brazilian Senate on 22 April 2014, and sanctioned the following day by President Dilma Rousseff at the opening ceremony of NETmundial. With this, the bill became Federal Law No. 12965/2014, which is the result of widespread mobilisation by civil society searching for a guarantee on internet rights – a mobilisation which resulted in an innovative participatory movement in the Brazilian law­making process. The three key pillars of the Marco Civil – net neutrality, intermediary liability aligned with freedom of expression, and data protection and privacy – encouraged people to link themselves to the mobilisation campaign and great resistance in the National Congress of Brazil. The purpose of this report is to highlight the relevant points in the process of preparation and approval of the law, as well as to discuss the rules related to the three pillars, while emphasising data protection and privacy.

Pakistan dominates the surveillance hall of shame

September 15, 2014 - by Furhan Hussain Gul Bukhari.

The Islamic Republic of Pakistan has had an intense history involving multiple wars, the splitting away of its eastern wing, military coups, political insurgency, ethnic cleansing and separatist movements; all in less than seven decades of its existence. Many of these afflictions have paved the way for the strengthening of institutions such as the military, resulting in the civilian system of checks and balances or oversight of these institutions becoming non­existent, while human rights violations by these powerhouses remaining as rampant as before. Their reach has now also fully extended to information and communications technologies (ICTs).

13 Principles Week of Action: Secret Law is Not Law

September 15, 2014 - by Cindy Cohn.

To bring the U.S. in line with international law, it must stop the process of developing secret law and ensure that all Americans, and indeed all people who may be subject to its surveillance have clear notice of when surveillance might occur. Terrorists and other criminals already well understand that they can be subject to surveillance during an investigation, so the people who are hurt are the innocent. Some operational details can and should remain secret, of course, but the law must be sufficiently clear to allow innocent people to understand when and how they may be subject to surveillance and, as they wish, take steps to regain their privacy.