On Anniversary of Snowden Revelations, Experts Urge World Governments to End Mass Surveillance

A group of 450 organizations and experts continue to rally in support of “Necessary and Proportionate Principles” a year after Edward Snowden first revealed how governments are monitoring individuals on a massive scale.

An international collection of experts have called on world governments to adopt the 13 International Principles on the Application of Human Rights to Communications Surveillance—principles aimed at putting an end to the blanket surveillance of law-abiding persons.

The 13 International Principles “establish clear guidelines” to ensure government surveillance activities are consistent with human rights and were developed “over months of consultation with technology, privacy, and human rights experts from around the world.”

“We all need to work together to rein in out-of-control government surveillance by making sure it is necessary, proportionate, and respects our fundamental human rights,” says Steve Anderson of OpenMedia, one of Canada’s representatives in the initiative. “Everyone deserves to keep their private life private and it’s past time decision-makers listened to citizens and implemented these common sense international principles.”

Eben Moglen, President of the Software Freedom Law Center, has even stronger words on the matter.

“If—by technical, legal and political means—we prevent centralized control and surveillance of the [internet], we save liberty. If not, unshakeable despotism lies in the human future.”

Ramiro Álvarez Ugarte of Argentina says that our basic human rights are violated by this wide system of mass surveillance, which he affirms is “incompatible with a free and democratic society.”

“We have slipped unconsciously into a world where basic concepts of democracy and the rule of law have been replaced by sophistry and impunity,” adds Joe McNamee, executive director of European Digital Rights.