Privacy International defends the right to privacy across the world, and fights surveillance and other intrusions into private life by governments and corporations. Read more »


Global Surveillance Monitor

In-depth reports on the current state of privacy in 195 countries around the world.

The newest incarnation of the Global Surveillance Monitor ("GSM") is a first-of-its-kind, comprehensive resource that aims to provide an open and current data set on all laws governing the surveillance and privacy of individuals worldwide.

Currently, accessing and comparing surveillance laws around the world is an arduous and time-consuming process, which often leads to unclear, unreliable, or incomplete results. Yet, access to law is fundamental to an individual's ability to participate fully in society. 

To facilitate that participation, we are developing GSM to create greater understanding of surveillance and privacy laws, how they compare across jurisdictions, and how they affect individuals. We hope that this ambitious project will provide what has thus far been unavailable: a one-stop shop for every country's surveillance and privacy laws.

GSM also seeks to address the issue of interoperability, a common difficulty many organisations have when integrating the valuable data they produce. By providing all the data in the form of RDF, a global standard for data publishing, our approach will allows us to integrate with existing databases in a seamless manner, while also allowing other organisations to use our data without any need to convert it between formats.

For over fifteen years, Privacy International has been co-publishing the 'Privacy and Human Rights' reports, global surveys of recent privacy developments. These studies have become the benchmark global review, used by international organisations, regulators and politicians to advance privacy protections in their own countries. The last global study was released in 2007 and was over 1,200 pages long. The global comparative map we published has been downloaded over a million times and republished hundreds of times in newspapers, blogs, research papers and books. In January 2011, we published a European study that analysed the national privacy and data protection landscapes of 33 European countries.

We are now using this expertise to build a transparent resource that will provide comprehensive, reliable and current data regarding global privacy and surveillance laws, ranging from constitutional privacy protections to data protection legislation to the rules governing communications surveillance.

By providing tools that can compare data, in the form of these legal provisions across jurisdictions, we hope to enable academic institutions, corporations, lawyers, NGOs, and policy makers to understand and advocate for better privacy protections worldwide.

Global Surveillance Monitor

Blog
Dr Richard Tynan's picture

The 'GSOC saga' began a number of weeks ago with the revelation that the oversight body of the Irish police force, the Garda Siochana Ombudsman Commission (GSOC), may have been the target of sophisticated electronic surveillance. A security company, Verrimus, found that there was evidence that an IMSI Catcher device may have been deployed in the vicinity of GSOC's offices which could have intercepted all mobile phone communications of its officers and anyone visiting the offices.

Blog
Dr Gus Hosein's picture

Want to work for a small charity that holds governments and companies to account on surveillance? We are excited to announce three new openings at Privacy International.

PI is embarking on a new project to work with partners across the world to conduct advocacy and investigations into government surveillance programmes. The project will involve research to identify case studies of surveillance abuses by government, and we will work with local investigators to document case studies of human rights abuse relating to surveillance, identify potential victims of wrongful surveillance, and identify witnesses and sources. Advocacy plays a strong role in this project, and we will collaborate with civil society partners to raise awareness about modern communications surveillance capabilities and advocate for policy change to enhance privacy rights.

In the media
Publisher: 
Guardian
Publication date: 
07-Oct-2013
Author(s): 
Shaun Walker
Original story link: 

Gus Hosein, executive director of Privacy International, which also co-operated with the research, said: "Since 2008, more people are travelling with smartphones with far more data than back then, so there is more to spy on."

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.

Press release

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.

With this in mind, a coalition of civil society organisations today launched the “International Principles on the Application of Human Rights to Communications Surveillance,” a set of standards that interpret States’ human rights obligations in light of new technologies and surveillance capabilities. The Principles are endorsed by over 260 civil society organisations around the world, and for the first time set out an evaluative framework for assessing surveillance practices in the context of international human rights law.

In the media
Publisher: 
BBC Radio
Publication date: 
29-Jul-2013
Original story link: 

Steve Hewlett presents a new series about how technology is reshaping notions of privacy. Privacy International Board Chair Anna Fielder joins Steve in this three-part series.

Blog
Shannon Kisch's picture

Since mid-2012 the Hebrew University International Human Rights Clinic has been collaborating with Privacy International to produce research about the state of privacy laws and protections in Israel and worldwide.

Last week marked the launch of a long-anticipated pilot of a controversial Israeli biometric database, a project that has been the target of civil society protest and the subject of a challenge in the Israeli Supreme Court.

While there is no shortage of institutions maintaining databases containing personal information of large sections of Israeli society – Israel’s Defense Force, the Bureau of Motor Vehicles, and the Election Authorities, to name just a few – this latest effort raises particular concerns about privacy and the protections of civil liberties.

Blog
Dr Richard Tynan's picture

All across the U.S. on 4 July, thousands of Americans gathered at Restore the Fourth rallies, in support of restoring the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and to protest the recently-disclosed information regarding NSA spying on American citizens. Demonstrations took place in over 100 cities, calling on the U.S. government to respect the privacy rights of citizens in America and individuals around the world.

Blog
Matthew Rice's picture

The government of Pakistan has repeatedly shown it is relentless when it comes to deploying measures to censor and spy on its own citizens. Today, a report released by Citizen Lab reveals another repressive tool being used to control and prevent information being accessed on the internet -- this time with help from the Canadian web-filtering company, Netsweeper.

According to the report "O Pakistan, We Stand on Guard for Thee: An Analysis of Canada-based Netsweeper’s Role in Pakistan’s Censorship Regime", internet filtering software provided by Netsweeper has been installed on the Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL)'s network, the country's largest telecommunications company that also operates the Pakistan Internet Exchange Point. Citizen Lab's report shows that the technology has been used for the purposes of social and political filtering, including websites of secessionist movements, sensitive religious topics, and independent media. 

Opinion piece
Carly Nyst's picture

Below is an excerpt of an article that recently appeared in Melbourne, Australia's The Age, written by Carly Nyst, Head of International Advocacy at Privacy International:

"Mass surveillance of a country's citizens by its government can no longer be said to be the preserve of authoritarian and dictatorial states.

The publication last week by The Guardian of classified National Security Agency documents has exposed the extent of surveillance by the US government, throwing into question the security and privacy of the communications of people around the world.

Not only does the US government have carte blanche access to data collected by phone companies about every single phone communication conducted on American soil, but it also has a direct line into records kept by internet companies such as Google, Microsoft and Twitter. In short, the US has the ability to spy on citizens of almost every country across the globe.

Pages

Subscribe to Global Surveillance Monitor