Many of us, no matter where in the world we live, are a target of mass surveillance, one way or the other. Either by our own government or by the governments of other countries where our Internet communications reside or pass through, or by both. Is it really necessary to surveil everyone? How does the human right to privacy hold up? Shouldn’t this be public knowledge if blanket mass scale surveillance is being carried out on our communication?
Questions like these made Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) to lead a global effort to apply existing human rights laws in the context of this age of surveillance that we live in. The collective effort, comprising of “over a year of consultation among civil society, privacy and technology experts,” resulted in the publication of International Principles on the Application of Human Rights to Communications Surveillance. Called the 13 Principles for short, the document which lists a set of rules for the world governments to adhere to if they must engage in mass surveillance, was formally launched in September last year.
Today marks the beginning of a week dedicated to the anniversary of the publication of the principles. Digital Rights Foundation is also one of the signatories of the 13 Principles. As a signatory, we want to take this opportunity to share the principles with the broader public in Pakistan. Every day from today, Sep 15, till Friday, Sep 19, we will be speaking about the principles in the Pakistani context. The aim is nothing but to secure the privacy that you, us, and everyone deserves. You should follow the conversation on our Twitter and Facebook feeds, if you don’t already.