Civil society's Covid response

15 Jul 2020
The US Immigration and Customs Enforcement service announced in July that the State Department will not issue visas to students whose universities shift to online-only learning and they must leave the country or face deportation. More than 1 million higher education students in the US come from
05 Jul 2020
New US federal data released by the CDC in response to freedom of information requests show striking racial and ethnic disparities in all parts of the country in who gets infected and hospitalised with coronavirus. A survey of 640,000 infections in nearly 1,000 US counties found that Latino and
20 May 2020
The EFF is opposing a California bill, AB 2004, that would authorise the issuers of COVID-19 test results to provide them with blockchain-based verifiable credentials that could enable individuals to resume work, travel, or any other activity where verification of a COVID-19 test would be needed
09 Jun 2020
As the mounting infection numbers and deaths took Brazil to second-worst affected in the world, the country took down the website on which it had been publishing daily, weekly, and monthly figures non infections and deaths in Braziliant states. A newspaper that supports president Jair Bolsonaro
22 Jun 2020
Immigration rules that have left 1 million migrant workers in the UK at risk of destitution because they cannot claim universal credit should be suspended on public health grounds during the pandemic, a cross-party group of MPs has recommended. The work and pensions select committee said the no
13 May 2020
Taking advantage of the pandemic to close US borders, the Trump administration is also spreading coronavirus infection by deporting detainees to receiving countries such as Guatemala, where 20% of infections are deportees. Guatemala has only two hospitals and a scattering of smaller regional medical
19 May 2020
Cameras repurposed as "fever-detecting" aren't designed for and are not very good at detecting infections, but businesses, airlines, major employers, and public officials are nonetheless reacting to the coronavirus pandemic by spending large sums to buy them without understanding their limitations
08 May 2020
Among the regulations governing restaurants as the US State of Maine's moves into a phased reopening is a requirement to maintain customer records for contact tracing purposes, including one customer's name and contact information per party and those of the table's server. The regulations also
21 May 2020
As the waning pandemic leads to signs that the protest movement is resuming, China is moving to draft new national security legislation and incorporate it into Hong Kong's Basic Law, bypassing the territory's Legislative Council. Elections for the Council are due to be held in September, and Chinese
20 Mar 2020
The global pandemic that has been declared by COVID-19 is already affecting countries of Latin America and the Caribbean. Recognizing the seriousness of this health crisis and the legal possibility for governments to take exceptional measures to control the pandemic, it is essential to remember that
18 Mar 2020
Our partners from IPANDETEC in Panamá wrote about privacy and personal data in the context of the COVID-19 response, stating that throughout Central America, data protection laws and patient privacy lean towards respecting their privacy before the scientific interest of their cases. Link: https:/
15 Mar 2020
Our partners from the Foundation for Media Alternatives in Philippines reported different ways in which the COVID-19 is impacting public health and privacy rights. Link: https://www.fma.ph/2020/03/15/public-health-and-privacy-amid-covid-19-the-fma-digital-rights-report/
21 Apr 2020
Our partners from the Centre for Internet & Society in India wonder themselves whether the use of an official chatbot to advance ‘right information’ is the most efficient way to handle misinformation?. In a recent example, a ministry released advisories on how homeopathy can prevent the coronavirus
13 Mar 2020
Our partners from Digital Rights Foundation in Pakistan wrote a piece analysing cases of privacy violations, misinformation, hate speech and other cases. As they said, the situation with regards to the Coronavirus is still developing in the country and Digital Rights Foundation, are keeping an eye
22 Apr 2020
Our partners from Unwanted Witness in Uganda wrote a formal letter to the Ministry of Information Communications Technology and National Guidance demanding for strict observance of human rights for any intended use of surveillance technologies to fight COVID-19. In a letter addressed to the
07 Apr 2020
Our partners from SMEX in Lebanon analysed surveillance measures in the country. Lebanon, like many other countries, has launched digital tools to help diagnose and monitor the spread of the outbreak. The tools launched by the Lebanese Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) do not appear to harvest data
09 Apr 2020
Our partners from Coding Rights in Brazil analysed 18 different Bills introduced to the Congress to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic (in Portuguese). Link: https://www.codingrights.org/radar-legislativo-especial-covid-19-e-tecnologia/
24 Mar 2020
Our partners from Internet Lab in Brazil started a series of podcasts to discuss the impacts of COVID-19 in the country. They are all recorded and available in the website (in Portuguese). Link: https://www.internetlab.org.br/pt/noticias/antivirus-um-programa-para-discutir-a-tecnologia-direitos-e-a
14 Apr 2020
Our partners from Hiperderecho in Peru proposed 15 measures to improve the COVID-19 app that the Peruvian Government is rolling out in the country (in Spanish). Link: https://hiperderecho.org/2020/04/quince-propuestas-para-mejorar-la-aplicacion-del-gobierno-del-covid-19/
07 Apr 2020
Our partners from Tedic in Paraguay analysed different tech proposals from the Paraguayan government, saying that emergencies are not a 'blank check' for them to do whatever they want (in Spanish). Link: https://www.tedic.org/noesunchequeenblanco/
22 Apr 2020
Our partners from Tedic in Paraguay analysed a government proposal to use drones to enforce the lockdown measures in that country (in Spanish). Link: https://www.tedic.org/uso-de-drones-covid19/
04 May 2020
In April, the US state of North Carolina's Dare County enacted a series of emergency declarations that establish checkpoints at all points where roads cross the county borders; travellers show an ID card with a Dare County address or a county-issued permit in order to enter the county. Dare County
21 Apr 2020
Our partners from Karisma in Colombia analysed three different technological solutions intending to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, finding vulnerabilities in them (in Spanish). Link: https://web.karisma.org.co/que-sabemos-de-las-tres-herramientas-que-se-anuncian-como-soluciones-tecnologicas-para
27 Mar 2020
Civil Society advocates, including PI, expressed their dissaproval of a letter from the Colombian Data Protection Authority, which was intending to give a blank exception to the government in relation with handling the pandemic. Link (in Spanish): https://web.karisma.org.co/organizaciones-de-la
06 Apr 2020
Our partners from Fundación Datos Protegidos in Chile also reacted to the Chilean Government App to handle the COVID-19 situation, and listed a series of critical regulatory points, demanding a multistakeholder instance to discuss them. Link: https://datosprotegidos.org/declaracion-de-fundacion
16 Apr 2020
Our partners from Derechos Digitales analysed the Chilean Government App to respond to the Corona Virus, saying that it will likely be useless and infringing on existing privacy rights (in Spanish) Link: https://www.derechosdigitales.org/14387/coronapp-la-inutilidad-del-atajo-tecnologico-desplegado
27 Mar 2020
From our partners from the Defenders Coalition: The civil society’s Police Reforms Working Group, comprised of twenty national human rights organisations, condemn the unnecessary and excessive use of force by Kenya Police Service officers yesterday at the Likoni Ferry Crossing, Mombasa. The police
14 Apr 2020
Our partners from Right to Know campaign in South Africa produced this infosheet to simplify what the South African government has committed to doing in ensuring that the use of surveillance does not impact negatively on people’s rights to privacy and that necessary data protections are taken into
26 Apr 2020
The Internet Freedom Foundation has sent a legal notice to the Broadcast Engineering Consultants India, Limited (BECIL), a public sector undertaking under the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, calling on the organisation to modify a tender seeing procurement of a "Personnel Tracking GPS
02 Jun 2020
While the agency that manages residence permits, the Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories, is closed, Israel has instructed Palestinians seeking to verify whether their permits to remain in Israel are still valid to download the app Al Munasiq, which grants the military access to