Surveillance

Surveillance 2018-03-20T19:06:15+00:00

GNI members believe that freedom of expression and privacy are critical to fostering stability, inclusiveness, and security. As such, GNI believes that government surveillance activities must comply with principles of rule of law and democratic governance, as well as human rights principles such as legality, necessity and proportionality.

Our framework of principles and guidelines provide companies with specific guidance on how to address government demands for access to data in a manner consistent with internationally recognized laws and standards. Our shared learning facilitates greater understanding of the specific challenges that surveillance activities can present. And our policy approach advocates for expanded transparency, oversight, and accountability of laws, regulations, and actions related communications surveillance.

  • A folder with paper and research

GNI Provides Input to UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on Privacy in the Digital Age

GNI outlined the relevant provisions of the GNI Principles and Implementation Guidelines that address privacy and suggested they may serve as models for the “principles, standards and best practices” that the Office of the High Commissioner is seeking to develop. May 3, 2018|Issues, issues highlight, Publication, surveillance|
  • A large eye in the middle of a target with cameras on the top

GNI Hosts Discussion of U.S. Surveillance Law on Capitol Hill

Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) authorizes elements of the US Intelligence [...] December 1, 2017|events, surveillance|

New Limits on US Government “Gag Orders” Will Advance the Rights of Global Technology Users

The Global Network Initiative (GNI) welcomes the decision by the United States Department of Justice to [...] October 25, 2017|Issues, media releases, surveillance|

GNI Welcomes UN Expert’s Report on Free Expression and the Digital Access Industry

The Global Network Initiative welcomes the 2017 report to the UN Human Rights Council presented [...] June 13, 2017|Issues, media releases, network disruptions, surveillance|

GNI Joins Broad Coalition Opposing US Department of Homeland Security Social Media Password Requirement Proposal

The US Government risks setting a dangerous global precedent as foreign governments implement similar password requirements at their borders. February 21, 2017|feature, Issues, surveillance|
  • A folder with paper and research

GNI Provides Input to UN Special Rapporteur’s Study on Telcos and the Internet Access Sector

As companies respond to government requests that can impact freedom of expression and privacy, the GNI Principles and Implementation Guidelines can steer the ICT sector. Read more for the full submission. November 18, 2016|Issues, media releases, network disruptions, Publication, surveillance|

Video New Frontiers Open Government

October 28, 2016|events, Issues, surveillance|

GNI Joins Coalition Opposing Proposal to Bar Privacy and Civil Liberties Board From Considering the Rights of Non-U.S. Persons

The coalition, which consisted of civil society groups, companies, and trade associations, urges the U.S. Senate to oppose a provision in the Intelligence Authorization Act for FY 2017 (Act, S. 3017). Read more for the full letter. June 24, 2016|Issues, media releases, surveillance|

Global Network Initiative Concerned by the Shutdown of WhatsApp in Brazil

The GNI continues to urge the Brazilian government to adhere to international human rights standards on free expression and privacy and to refrain from blocking access to communications platforms. May 2, 2016|Issues, media releases, network disruptions, surveillance|

GNI Expresses Concern Over the Arrest of a Facebook Executive in Brazil

Local staff working in many countries may be increasingly targeted for arrest or intimidation in cases where they are involved in the provision of encrypted services. March 8, 2016|Issues, Jurisdictional Assertions & Limits, media releases, network disruptions, surveillance|

GNI Briefs the U.S. Helsinki Commission on Internet Freedom

On Thursday, March 3, 2016, GNI Director of Policy and Learning Lisl Brunner presented to the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (U.S. Helsinki Commission) at a briefing titled “Internet Freedom in the Age of Dictators and Terrorists.” March 4, 2016|events, intermediary liability, Issues, Jurisdictional Assertions & Limits, media releases, network disruptions, surveillance|

GNI adds its Voice to the #SecureTheInternet Campaign in Support of Encryption

Encryption and anonymity are foundations for freedom of expression and privacy around the world. January 11, 2016|Issues, media releases, surveillance|

Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, and Twitter Submit Written Evidence on the UK Investigatory Powers Bill

"Governments have a responsibility to protect people and their privacy. We believe a legal framework can protect both.” Read more to find the full submission. January 11, 2016|Issues, media releases, surveillance|
  • A folder with paper and research

GNI Submits Written Evidence to the UK Joint Committee Scrutinizing the Investigatory Powers Bill

The UK has an opportunity to lead on a global framework for data based on transparency and the rule of law. Read more to find the full GNI submission. January 8, 2016|Issues, Jurisdictional Assertions & Limits, media releases, Publication, surveillance|

The Global Network Initiative Urges Pakistan to Review Prevention of Electronic Crime Bill

The Global Network Initiative is concerned that Pakistan’s Cybercrime Bill will usher in a new era of unprecedented restriction on the free flow of information for its citizens. December 22, 2015|Issues, Jurisdictional Assertions & Limits, media releases, surveillance|

The Global Network Initiative Urges Kazakhstan to Respect the Security of Digital Communications

The Global Network Initiative (GNI) is troubled by a provision in the new communications law of Kazakhstan which would require all Internet users to install a “national security certificate” on their devices. The certificate would permit government authorities to access all Internet traffic, regardless of whether encryption technology is used. Governments should support strong encryption, and rather than compromising digital security, they should use legal process to make requests of companies who encrypt and store their users’ data. December 21, 2015|Issues, Jurisdictional Assertions & Limits, media releases, surveillance|

The GNI Expresses Concern over Suspension of Messaging Service in Brazil

A Brazilian court’s decision instituted a nationwide blocking of the WhatsApp messaging service on December 17. The GNI urges the Brazilian government to adhere to international human rights standards on free expression and privacy and to refrain from blocking access to communications platforms. December 18, 2015|Issues, media releases, network disruptions, surveillance|

Facebook Reports a Surge in Government Requests for Data

In its latest transparency report, Facebook has reported an 18 percent increase in official requests for its users' data around the world. November 12, 2015|Issues, media releases, surveillance|

Call to embrace GNI principles at 37th International Privacy Conference, Amsterdam

A report presented to the October 2015 Amsterdam Privacy Conference has called on telco and Internet companies facing surveillance by governments to adopt the Global Network Initiative’s international standards-based best practices for the ICT sector. November 4, 2015|events, Issues, media releases, surveillance|

GNI Meets with UK officials to discuss new “Snoopers’ Charter” bill and mutual legal assistance reform

GNI met with the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Home Office, and the Cabinet Office to express concerns about the impact the Investigatory Powers Bill will have internationally on privacy and free expression rights. October 28, 2015|Issues, Jurisdictional Assertions & Limits, media releases, surveillance|

GNI announces support for the #SaveCrypto Campaign

"By backing strong encryption, the White House can send a global message in support of the privacy and freedom of expression of all internet users," said GNI Executive Director Judith Lichtenberg. October 7, 2015|Issues, media releases, surveillance|

Free Speech and Privacy Win as Section 603 of Intelligence Authorization Act Dropped

GNI was among the 31 civil society groups that successfully spoke out against section 603, which would have created a sweeping requirement for internet companies to report on their users. September 22, 2015|Issues, media releases, surveillance|

GNI Joins Coalition Letter to Senate regarding Section 603 of Intelligence Authorization Act

The Global Network Initiative (GNI) joined human rights and civil liberties organizations and trade associations to convey its concerns with a provision in the Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016 (S. 1705) in a coalition letter to Senate. August 4, 2015|Issues, Letter, media releases, surveillance|

Encryption and Human Rights Online

GNI welcomes the report to the Human Rights Council by David Kaye, UN Special Rapporteur for freedom of expression, on encryption, anonymity and digital communications. June 15, 2015|events, Issues, media releases, surveillance|

Global Network Initiative Applauds Passage of USA FREEDOM Act

The Global Network Initiative applauds the passage of the USA FREEDOM Act, a critical first step toward reforming surveillance practices that will help to protect freedom of expression and privacy rights. June 3, 2015|Issues, media releases, surveillance|

GNI Joins Diverse Coalition to Call for Significant Surveillance Reforms

GNI has joined with a wide range of privacy and human rights advocates, technology companies, and trade associations to agree on key elements of U.S surveillance reform. March 25, 2015|Issues, media releases, surveillance|

2014 Learning Forum on Transparency and Human Rights in the Digital Age – California

On November 6, 2014, GNI and the Telecommunications Industry Dialogue held the first of two 2014 Joint Learning Forum events in Sunnyvale, California. December 10, 2014|events, Issues, media releases, surveillance|

2014 Learning Forum on Transparency and Human Rights in the Digital Age – Geneva

On December 1, 2014, the Telecommunications Industry Dialogue and GNI held the second of their two Joint Learning Forums for the year 2014. December 9, 2014|events, Issues, media releases, surveillance|
  • A vintage typewriter with a scroll of paper and writing flowing over the front.

Getting Specific About Transparency, Privacy, and Free Expression Online

Amid the contentious global debates about privacy and surveillance since the Snowden revelations, few proposed reforms have attracted more consensus than calls for greater transparency. November 5, 2014|Issues, media releases, op-eds, surveillance|
  • A vintage typewriter with a scroll of paper and writing flowing over the front.

GNI Responds to GCHQ in the Financial Times

In reaction to the Financial Times op-ed by Richard Hannigan, Director of GCHQ, GNI Board Chair Mark Stephens wrote this letter to the editor, "Need to intrude must be demonstrated, not merely asserted" published November 5. November 5, 2014|Issues, media releases, op-eds, surveillance|

GNI Joins Coalition Letter on Surveillance Reform

The Global Network Initiative joined a coalition letter signed by members of Congress, former government officials, civil society organizations and companies to urge the Obama Administration to reform surveillance practices under Executive Order 12333. September 30, 2014|Issues, Letter, media releases, surveillance|

Open Letter to UK Prime Minister on the Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Bill

We urge reconsideration of the fast-track timeline of the Data Retention and Investigatory Powers (DRIP) Bill to provide adequate opportunity for Parliamentary scrutiny and public debate. July 14, 2014|Issues, Jurisdictional Assertions & Limits, Letter, media releases, surveillance|

Op-Ed: Privacy Since Snowden

A year has passed since the American former intelligence contractor Edward J. Snowden began revealing the massive scope of Internet surveillance by the US National Security Agency. June 18, 2014|Issues, media releases, op-eds, surveillance|

GNI Urges U.S. Senate to Lead on Surveillance Reform

GNI urges the U.S. Senate to address serious shortcomings in the version of the USA FREEDOM Act passed by the House. May 23, 2014|Issues, media releases, surveillance|

GNI Reaction to the Recommendations Adopted by the Freedom Online Coalition

GNI welcomes the adoption of a series of recommendations by the Freedom Online Coalition. April 29, 2014|Issues, media releases, surveillance|

Op-Ed: The UK’s Response to Snowden’s Revelations Lets Putin Off the Hook

The UK response to the Snowden revelations is providing a worrying precedent for Putin and other autocrats, and has been incommensurate to the scope and scale of the problem at hand. April 21, 2014|Issues, op-eds, surveillance|
  • A folder with paper and research

GNI Submits Comments to UN on Privacy in the Digital Age

GNI provides input for the report of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on “The right to privacy in the digital age.” April 2, 2014|Issues, media releases, Publication, Resources, surveillance|

Bulk Webcam Collection Neither Necessary Nor Proportionate

The Global Network Initiative is deeply alarmed by reports that the UK intelligence agency, GCHQ, has intercepted millions of Yahoo! webcam images. February 28, 2014|Issues, media releases, surveillance|

GNI Writes to UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on Privacy in the Digital Age

GNI Letter to UN High Commissioner for Human Rights - Feb 2014 The Global Network [...] February 24, 2014|Issues, Letter, media releases, surveillance|

Surveillance Reforms to Protect Rights and Restore Trust

The Global Network Initiative urges President Obama and the U.S. Congress to enact reforms to [...] January 14, 2014|Issues, media releases, surveillance|

GNI Statement on Report of the President’s Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technologies

GNI welcomes the public release of the report by the President's Review Group on Intelligence and Communications [...] December 19, 2013|Issues, media releases, surveillance|

GNI Welcomes Internet Company Principles on Global Government Surveillance Reform

The Global Network Initiative welcomes the principles on Global Government Surveillance Reform launched today by a group [...] December 9, 2013|Issues, media releases, surveillance|

Event Recap: 2013 Learning Forum in Brussels

The Global Network Initiative and the Telecommunications Industry Dialogue on Freedom of Expression and Privacy 2013 [...] November 26, 2013|events, Jurisdictional Assertions & Limits, media releases, surveillance|

Civil Society Groups and Tech Companies Call for Surveillance Reform

The Global Network Initiative joined a broad coalition of civil society groups, trade associations, companies [...] November 21, 2013|Issues, Letter, media releases, surveillance|

Op-Ed: Tech Companies Should be Allowed to Disclose Government Requests

This piece by GNI Independent Chair Jermyn Brooks and Policy & Communications Director David Sullivan [...] November 13, 2013|Issues, media releases, op-eds, surveillance|

2013 Learning Forum in Brussels

The Global Network Initiative and the Telecommunications Industry Dialogue on Freedom of Expression and Privacy [...] November 8, 2013|events, Jurisdictional Assertions & Limits, surveillance|

GNI Applauds Tech Company Letter on Surveillance Reforms

The Global Network Initiative applauds the letter sent by six technology companies—including GNI members Facebook, Google, Microsoft, [...] November 1, 2013|Issues, media releases, surveillance|

GNI at the Internet Governance Forum in Bali, Indonesia

The Global Network Initiative will participate in the 2013 Internet Governance Forum in Bali, Indonesia. [...] October 13, 2013|events, Issues, Jurisdictional Assertions & Limits, network disruptions, surveillance|

GNI Writes to the 21 Governments in the Freedom Online Coalition

The Global Network Initiative has written to the 21 governments in the Freedom Online Coalition, [...] September 19, 2013|Issues, Letter, media releases, surveillance|

Presidential and Congressional Steps on Communication Surveillance Programs

The Global Network Initiative welcomes the commitment by President Obama to work with Congress on [...] August 10, 2013|Issues, media releases, surveillance|

GNI Comments to the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board

The Global Network Initiative submitted comments to the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB) regarding surveillance [...] August 7, 2013|Issues, media releases, surveillance|

New Report Calls for Transparency from Governments and Telecommunications Companies

Report Executive Summary available in Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian, and Spanish. Washington, DC — The human rights obligations of telecommunications companies [...] July 24, 2013|intermediary liability, Issues, media releases, network disruptions, reports, surveillance|

The Global Network Initiative Joins Internet Companies & Advocates to Demand More Transparency Around Government Surveillance

We Need to Know - Transparency Letter The Global Network Initiative has joined a coalition [...] July 18, 2013|Issues, Letter, media releases, surveillance|

ThinkProgress: How To Bring More Transparency To U.S. Surveillance Programs

This piece by GNI Policy and Communications Director David Sullivan originally appeared on ThinkProgress: There is [...] July 3, 2013|Issues, media releases, op-eds, surveillance|

Transparency, National Security, and Protecting Rights Online

In light of recent events, the Global Network Initiative calls on the United States and [...] June 28, 2013|Issues, media releases, surveillance|

GNI Statement on Communications Surveillance

Recent statements by U.S. government officials about communications surveillance programs highlight the need for thoughtful [...] June 12, 2013|Issues, media releases, surveillance|
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GNI Hosts Online Debate on the UK Communications Data Bill

Susan Morgan hosts a Google Big Tent Hangout discussing the UK draft Communications Data Bill, featuring Lord [...] December 17, 2012|Issues, media releases, Resources, surveillance|

GNI Welcomes Report on UK Draft Communications Data Bill

The Global Network Initiative welcomes the report of the UK Joint Committee on the Draft Communications Data [...] December 12, 2012|Issues, Jurisdictional Assertions & Limits, media releases, surveillance|

Event: The Communications Data Bill: ‘Snoopers’ charter’, or safeguarding our security?

Date: Thursday October 18, 10.30am – 12pm Venue: Free Word Centre, London Tickets: By invitation only. [...] October 17, 2012|events, Jurisdictional Assertions & Limits, media releases, surveillance|
  • Various video equipment and buttons

GNI Comments on UK Draft Communications Data Bill

GNI Submission on UK Communications Data Bill - August 2012 The Global Network Initiative (GNI) [...] September 11, 2012|Issues, Jurisdictional Assertions & Limits, media releases, Resources, surveillance|

Global Network Initiative 2012 Learning Forum

GNI's inaugural Learning Forum brought to Washington, D.C. an exciting lineup of international speakers on [...] June 15, 2012|events, Issues, media releases, surveillance|

New Report Outlines Recommendations for Governments, Companies and Others on How to Protect Free Expression and Privacy Rights Online

GNI Report - Digital Freedoms in International Law Governments, companies, and other stakeholders can collaborate [...] June 14, 2012|Issues, media releases, reports, surveillance|

Global Network Initiative Welcomes Action By United States and Europe on Human Rights and Technology

The Global Network Initiative (GNI) commends recent action by the U.S. government and Europe to [...] April 25, 2012|media releases, surveillance|
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