Increasing Anti-Surveillance Momentum and the Necessary and Proportionate Principles

Last Monday, eight of the largest Internet companies took the unprecedented step of publicly calling for an end to bulk collection of communications data. Then on Tuesday, a coalition of over 550 of the world’s leading authors (including 5 Nobel prize winners) issued a statement calling for a reassertion of our digital privacy. In the next few days, the United Nations General Assembly is expected to pass a key privacy resolution.While all of these are heartening steps, the time is coming to fill in the details of the more general international calls for reform. Luckily, EFF and several other NGOs and legal scholars around the world have already developed a set of robust principles, called the 13 International Principles for the Application of Human Rights to Communications Surveillance — or more commonly, the Necessary and Proportionate Principles. These can be used by people around the world to push for stronger local legal protections, as well as by the United Nations and other international bodies. The Principles have so far been endorsed by over 329 organizations, 43 experts and elected officials, and thousands of individuals from around the world. It’s also open for signature by companies. If you haven’t already signed it, you can do so today.

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