Carly is PI’s Legal Director, and leads PI’s engagement with international human rights mechanisms and humanitarian organisations. Prior to joining PI, Carly was the Legal Adviser to the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights, and Visiting Scholar at the Columbia Law School's Human Rights Institute. Carly is an Australian-qualified lawyer who has worked in human rights law and advocacy at the national and international levels. She holds an MSc in International Relations from the London School of Economics, and Bachelors degrees in law and international relations from the University of Queensland, Australia.
In response to a consultation being undertaken by the UN in accordance with December’s General Assembly resolution on the right to privacy in the digital age, Privacy International today called on the United Nations to recognise that mass surveillance is incompatible with human rights.
The following was a speech given by Carly Nyst, Head International Adovacy, at the UN Forum on Business and Human Rights, Geneva on 3 December
The internet and innovations in technologies have opened up previously unimagined possibilities for communication, expression, and empowerment. New technologies have become essential enablers of the enjoyment of human rights, from the right to education, to participation, to access to information. Today, the internet is not only a place where rights are exercised, it is in itself a guarantor of human rights.
With the launch of the "Eyes Wide Open" project, Privacy International has put together a fact sheet about the secretive Five Eyes alliance. Consider this a guide to the secret surveillance alliance that has infiltrated every aspect of the modern global communications system.
General Assembly Should Pass Strong Resolution on the Right to Privacy in the Digital Age
(New York, November 21, 2013) – The United Nations General Assembly should approve a new resolution and make clear that indiscriminate surveillance is never consistent with the right to privacy, five human rights organizations said in a November 21, 2013 letter to members of the United Nations General Assembly.
The following is an excerpt from a Comment originally publihsed by The Guardian, written by Privacy International's Head of Advocacy, Carly Nyst:
From databases to mobile phone apps and SMS systems, GPS tracking and humanitarian drones to biometric registration, new technologies are rapidly becoming central to the delivery of humanitarian and development aid.
For the first time since the Snowden revelations exposed the vast reach and scope of Britain's surveillance and intelligence activities, Parliament will openly debate the need for greater oversight of the intelligence and security services.
At the first major discussions on internet governance since the Snowden leaks began in June 2013, Sweden’s Foreign Minister has called for the establishment of principles to define the application of existing human rights obligations to the digital realm.
The following is an excerpt from an article written that originally was published by IFEX, and is written by Carly Nyst, Head of International Advocacy at Privacy International:
The reality of the modern world is that governments – both of our own countries, and of foreign states – have greater capabilities to carry out invasive surveillance of citizens, no matter where they reside or what flag they pledge to. And caught in the cross-fire of the expanding surveillance state is freedom of expression, which is underpinned by the right to privacy.
As if those in Pakistan did not have enough to worry about when it came to the security of their communications, recent changes to Pakistan’s anti-terror law could see people convicted for terrorism solely on the basis of incriminating text messages, phone calls, or email.
The Zimbabwean government extended its reach into the private lives of its citizens this week by promulgating a new law establishing a central database of information about all mobile telephone users in the country.
Civil society organisations today called upon the members of the Human Rights Council to assess whether national surveillance laws and activities are in line with their international human rights obligations.
The Snowden revelations have confirmed that governments worldwide continue to expand their spying capabilities, at home and abroad. Widespread surveillance is being conducted in violation of individuals’ rights to privacy and free expression, and is seldom regulated by strong legal frameworks that respect human rights.
The following excerpt is from a posting in the Guardian's Comment is Free by Carly Nyst, Privacy International's Head of International Advocacy.
"In order to challenge a secret surveillance system, and to demand the government explains why it is spying on British citizens, one must apply to a secret tribunal that does not make public its proceedings or the reasons for its decision. It may seem like an Orwellian fantasy, but this is the stark reality of the British legal system.
The latest attempt by the British government to control and monitor online communications is arguably the most frightening to date and could be copied by authoritarian regimes - warns Privacy International.
Anna Fielder, a trustee at Privacy International, a group based in London that supports strong data protection laws, said the existing legal regimes in Europe and much of the world were ill equipped to meet the challenges of protecting personal information.
“Germany has the strongest data protection laws in Europe, and this is all they could do,” Ms. Fielder said. “Most businesses are not complying with data protection laws because the costs of noncompliance — I mean these tiny penalties — are so low.”
Are you looking to join a small charity that punches above its weight in holding governments and corporations to account? We're seeking a Research Officer to play a key role in the Privacy in the Developing World programme, and in PI's regional and international human rights advocacy.