Electronic Frontiers Australia this week signed onto the International Principles of the Application of Human Rights to Communications Surveillance, a set of international due process principles designed to protect privacy in the face of government surveillance. The 13 point statement of principles is intended to explain how existing human rights standards, international law and jurisprudence should apply to the new capabilities and risks of digital surveillance.
The principles express the need for greater transparency in the use of surveillance by states, and call for users to be notified of a decision to access their communications and given the opportunity for appeal. They propose criminalising illegal communications surveillance by public and private parties, and state that service providers should not be compelled to build surveillance or monitoring capabilities into their systems.
To be launched in September, the document hopes to give “governments, activists and legislators the language and references to re-think and reform how they defend privacy”. It comes at a time when state surveillance of citizens has come under increased scrutiny following revelations of the US’ PRISM mass surveillance program.
More than at any time in history, citizens around the world are being exposed to intrusive surveillance and data collection, often without their knowledge or consent. EFA is proud to join the Electronic Frontier Foundation and 28 other civil society groups in supporting these principles.
The full document can be found here: https://necessaryandproportionate.org/