Germany is a major exporter of surveillance technologies and over the past decade the German government has provided German companies with licenses to export surveillance technologies to at least 25 countries, many of which have long histories of human rights abuse. The British-German company Gamma International, is the maker of the FinFisher surveillance toolset. Users typically end up downloading FinFisher unknowingly, just by clicking on a seemingly innocent link or email attachment. Once installed, the tool allows the user to access all stored information and monitor even encrypted communication. Keystrokes can be logged, Skype conversations recorded and cameras and microphones can be activated remotely.
Drawing on international law and jurisprudence, the Principles articulate the obligations of governments under international human rights law in the digital age. The Principles are a product of a collaborative effort of privacy experts, human rights lawyers and civil society groups. They provide a tool to evaluate and help reform governments’ surveillance practices. The Principles were first launched in the Palais des Nations in Geneva on 20 September 2013.
The Council of Europe has released an important report on how human rights apply to ICANN. The findings? Not only do ICANN policies intersect in important ways with free expression and privacy rights, but many ICANN policies and procedures are obviously inconsistent with those rights.
Between 15th-19th of September, in the week leading up the first year anniversary of the 13 Necessary and Proportionate Principles, EDRi, the EFF and the coalition behind the Principles will be conducting a Week of Action explaining some of the key guiding principles for surveillance law reform.
We will talk with France about how we can maintain a high level of data protection. Above all, we will discuss which European providers we have who offer security to citizens. So that you don't have to cross the Atlantic with emails and other things, but also can build up communication networks within Europe, said Merkel.
Several human rights groups are celebrating a major victory against the Five Eyes, an intelligence alliance comprising Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK and the US, as the UK surveillance tribunal ruled on 6 February that the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) acted unlawfully in accessing millions of private communications collected by the National Security Agency (NSA) up until December 2014.
The decision marks the first time that the Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT), the only UK court empowered to oversee GCHQ, the domestic security agency MI5 and the foreign intelligence service MI6, has ever ruled against the intelligence and security services in its fifteen-year history. The case was only possible thanks to the NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden whose leaked documents provided the facts needed to challenge the long-standing intelligence sharing relationship.