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Switzerland

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Edin Omanovic's picture

UPDATE: The past few days have seen more movement in Switzerland. The Swiss Secretariat for Economic Affairs responded swiftly to our request for official clarification. The SECO confirmed to PI that "all licence requests for the export of technologies for internet monitoring were withdrawn" by the applicants themselves, and that some of the requests for mobile phone monitoring technology have also been withdrawn.

A further follow-up by Swiss media has revealed that the Government has now approved four licences for mobile phone monitoring technologies, which would be largely destined for countries that have been supplied comparable goods since 2010. Speaking with the media, the Swiss Government said they did take human rights concerns into account, but viewed that the risk for misuse was low for these particular exports.

Blog
Kenneth Page's picture

Update: This week we received a response to our letters when we called on the President of the Swiss Confederation, Ueli Maurer, and the Swiss Foreign Minister Didier Burkhalter, to step into the debate and refuse the licence applications for surveillance technology that are currently awaiting approval for export out of Switzerland. While their offices themselves did not reply to us, it is clear our message got through as the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) wrote to us on their behalf.

In their letter, the SECO confirmed to us that the situation was not yet resolved, and a decision was still pending. We hope this is an indication the government is as concerned as we are as to how FinFisher is used by repressive states. Let’s hope this non-approval continues - we’ll be watching.

In the media
Publisher: 
Radio Télévision Suisse
Publication date: 
01-Oct-2013
Original story link: 

"Monsieur le président, je vous écris une lettre..." chantait Boris Vian dans sa chanson antimilitariste de 1954. Le 26 septembre, c'est une ONG qui milite pour la défense des droits de l'homme qui écrit une lettre à Ueli Maurer, conseiller fédéral. Privacy International interpelle le ministre de la Défense pour lui demander de ne pas accorder de licence à la multinationale Gamma qui tente d'exporter ses logiciels espions depuis la Suisse. L'ONG l'accuse de travailler pour des régimes autoritaires et de violer ainsi les droits de l'homme.

Countries: 
Blog
Carly Nyst's picture

What a difference a few months, and some intelligence agency leaks, make.

In early June an important report warning of increasing State surveillance was submitted to the United Nations Human Rights Council. It was met with barely more than scant attention.  Days later, Edward Snowden’s leaks hit the front page of the Guardian, and woke the world up to how intelligence agencies in the US and UK are using questionable legal justifications to spy on their own citizens and the world.

In the media
Publisher: 
St. Galler Tagblatt
Publication date: 
16-Sep-2013
Author(s): 
Tobias Gafafer
Original story link: 

Unternehmen wollen Spionage-Technik aus der Schweiz auch an Regime im Nahen Osten oder Zentralasien exportieren. Wegen eines Artikels unserer Zeitung schaltet sich nun die britische Nichtregierungsorganisation NGO Privacy International ein, die für die Freiheitsrechte kämpft. Sie warnt den Bund davor, die umstrittenen Exportgesuche zu bewilligen. Das schreibt die NGO in einem Brief an die Exportkontrolle im Staatssekretariat für Wirtschaft (Seco) und an die Mitglieder der aussen- und sicherheitspolitischen Kommissionen des Parlaments. Das Schreiben liegt auch unserer Zeitung vor.

Countries: 
In the media
Publisher: 
Radio Télévision Suisse
Publication date: 
18-Sep-2013
Author(s): 
Pauline Turuban
Original story link: 

L'ONG Privacy International s'en alarme, et vient d'ailleurs de lancer une campagne auprès de la Confédération visant à bloquer les demandes et renforcer les contrôles pour ce type d'exportations.

In the media
Publisher: 
Radio Télévision Suisse
Publication date: 
17-Sep-2013
Author(s): 
Yann Dieuaide
Original story link: 

L'ONG Privacy International a écrit à 70 parlementaires suisses et au Secrétariat d'Etat à l'économie (SECO), pour demander que soient refusées les demandes d'autorisation d'exportation récemment faites par Gamma Group.

Blog
Kenneth Page's picture

For some time now, Gamma International has been criticised for exporting dangerous surveillance technologies from the UK to repressive regimes. Now, we are learning that the company is taking its show on the road, as recent reports have said that Gamma are now attempting to export its products, including the spyware FinFisher, out of Switzerland.

Blog
Eric King's picture

Privacy International has compiled data on the privacy provisions in national constitutions around the world, including which countries have constitutional protections, whether they come from international agreements, what aspects of privacy are actually protected and when those protections were enacted. We are pleased to make this information available under a Creative Commons license for organizations, researchers, students and the community at large to use to support their work (and hopefully contribute to a greater understanding of privacy rights).

The categories

Though the right to privacy exists in several international instruments, the most effective privacy protections come in the form of constitutional articles. Varying aspects of the right to privacy are protected in different ways by different countries. Broad categories include:

Report
01-Jan-2011

This country report is an evaluation of privacy and surveillance laws, policies and practices in Switzerland. The 2010 report was updated with the support of the European Commission's Fundamental Rights and Citizenship programme 2007-2013. Updates to the 2010 report have been provided by Christian Thommen of Grundrechte Schweiz, Christoph Mueller of the University of Zurich and Heinrich Busch.

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