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Policy Officer – job description and person specification

Are you looking to join a small charity that punches above its weight in holding governments and corporations to account? We are seeking creative and passionate people who are keen to work on meaningful projects at the cutting edge of human rights and technology.

The role of the Policy Officer is to work with the Legal Officer and Head of Research as part of the Big Brother Incorporated project to raise the profile and understanding of issues related to the export of surveillance technology in the UK and internationally. The Policy Officer will also coordinate an international campaign for introducing export controls on surveillance technology.

The successful candidate will report to the Head of Research.

The successful candidate will be joining a small team of staff at one of the world’s leading privacy organizations. Privacy International was founded in 1990 and has active associates and networks in 47 countries. Our mission is to defend the right to privacy across the world, and to fight unlawful surveillance and other intrusions into private life by governments and corporations. The Big Brother Incorporated project investigates the international trade in surveillance technology, with a particular focus on the flow of products from Western countries to repressive regimes intent on using them as tools of political control. The project's objectives are:

  • To raise worldwide awareness of the dangers of surveillance technologies and the ethical failures of the surveillance industry.
  • To ensure that export controls are put in place in Europe and the US to restrict the sale of surveillance technologies to repressive regimes.
  • To seek redress for those who have suffered harm as a result of Western-manufactured surveillance technologies.

Please note that this position is for an initial one-year period, to be extended if deemed to be in the best interests of PI and if funding permits. The successful candidate will be based full-time in our London office.

Remuneration: £33,000 per annum.

Roles and Responsibilities:

  1. Coordinate, support and advise international partner organisations on export of surveillance technology issues, including by organising meetings (online and off), producing regular digests and updates, and coordinating action;
  2. Liaise with government agencies in UK including the Foreign Office, Business Innovation and Skills and GCHQ/CESG.
  3. Meet more broadly with with senior governmental, parliamentary and regulatory officials and representatives of international institutions to discuss national and international export control issues.
  4. Conduct lobbying and campaigning on issues related to surveillance technology in the UK and European parliaments, and with members of the Wassenaar arrangement.
  5. Represent Privacy International in the broadcast media, and at conferences on export control issues;
  6. Organise and host workshops and other events for partner organisations, in London and abroad;
  7. Maintain an up-to-date knowledge of export control issues, collating updates from partner organisations and sending monthly digests;
  8. Work with the Legal Officer to create supporting advocacy initiatives and materials around the litigation strategy;
  9. Work with the BBI team to produce policy briefings and research papers in support of the aims of the Big Brother Incorporated project.
Person specification:


  • Extensive experience in political campaigning, advocacy and/or lobbying;
  • Detailed knowledge of UK and EU political processes;
  • Demonstrable knowledge of, and interest in, privacy and technology issues.
  • Ability to take initiative, to work unsupervised and to take responsibility for managing relationships with partner NGOs and government officials;
  • Proactive and self-motivated individual capable of engaging persuasively with a wide range of stakeholders.
  • Exceptional communications and presentation skills, both written and oral.
  • Strong multitasking abilities and ability to manage multiple deadlines.
  • Experience of working with and in small teams.
  • Experience of writing briefing papers and reports on complex issues.
  • Experience of organising events and/or workshops.


  • Advanced degree in human rights, political science or international relations;
  • Understanding of export regulations and the international and regional arrangements to regulate the export of dual-use goods;
  • Knowledge of the non-profit sector and general understanding of the key institutions in the human rights world.
  • Experience of giving presentations and delivering lectures to diverse audiences.

To apply, please send a CV and covering letter (not more than five sides of A4 combined) to by 6pm on Friday 31st May 2013. Interviews will be held in Central London on 10 and 11 June 2013. We are able to arrange video conference interviews with overseas candidates.

The deadline has been extended to 6pm Wednesday 5th June. Interviews will still be held on the 10 and 11th June.