EFF, PI to Launch New Principles on Human Rights and Communication Surveillance


A set of international due process principles around human rights and communication surveillance will be launched in September this year. The principles, known as the “International Principles on the Application of Human Rights to Communications Surveillance,” were developed by two member organizations of the International Freedom of Expression Exchange (IFEX) – the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and Privacy International (PI) – in collaboration with a set of scholars and non-governmental organizations around the world.

Katitza Rodriguez, EFF’s International Rights Director

The Principles are intended to explain how existing human rights standards, international law and jurisprudence should apply to the new capabilities and risks of digital surveillance.

According to Katitza Rodriguez, EFF’s International Rights Director; Fabiola Carrion, Policy Counsel at AccessNow; and Carly Nyst, Head of International Advocacy at Privacy International, although work on the Principles began one year ago, well before the recent stories about sweeping surveillance by security services worldwide broke, the Principles “could not be more timely.”

Fabiola Carrion, Policy Counsel at AccessNow

The principles are the outcome of a global consultation with civil society groups, industry and international experts in communications surveillance law, policy and technology

They said: “With this document, we hope to give governments, activists and legislators the language and references to re-think and reform how they defend privacy, in a world where even existing practice may expose innocent citizens to intrusive surveillance, and when new tools for data collection could all too easily build the infrastructure of a dangerous surveillance state.”

They are seeking signatures and endorsement of the Principles ahead of a planned major launch in September. The principles are available in English and several languages.

Click here to download the full principles in English.