Launch of The International Principles on the Application of Human Rights to Communications Surveillance
On Friday, 20 September, Privacy International, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Access, Human Rights Watch, Reporters Without Borders, and the Association for Progressive Communications will host the launch of the “International Principles on the Application of Human Rights to Communications Surveillance.” Endorsed by more than 200 civil society organizations, the Principles provide an evaluative framework for assessing surveillance practices and techniques in the context of international human rights obligations.
The 13 Principles take well-established tenents of human rights law, such as the requirements of legality, necessity, adequacy, proportionality, due process, and transparency, and apply them to State surveillance, setting out the steps necessary for States to meet their human rights obligations.
The Principles come on the heels of a recent report by the UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of opinion and expression Frank La Rue. The Report, noting both the benefits and the challenges of technology developments, calls on States to update their understandings and regulation of communications surveillance and modify their practices to ensure that individuals’ human rights are respected and protected.