In the coming year, the elections to be held in Nigeria, Indonesia, Turkey, Ethiopia, Mexico, and Tunisia will be closely watched. Not only will the international community be monitoring the elections, but domestic governments could be monitoring their own citizens at the ballot box.
When courageous citizens brave uncertain political and societal contexts to exercise one of their fundamental human rights - the right to vote - they will rely on another fundamental human right - privacy. Privacy in political processes is one of the most important guarantors of democracy, enabling people to vote by secret ballot and thus be free from intimidation, corruption and recrimination.
Yet as States expand their surveillance capacity and seek to build their power to observe and monitor ideas, communications, and movements, the right to vote and engage in political processes is increasingly imperilled.