GNI members believe that freedom of expression and privacy are critical to fostering stability, inclusiveness, and security. As such, 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.
Our policy work has also focused on identifying and calling out newer approaches to surveillance that take intermediaries out of the loop, thereby limiting opportunities for transparency and accountability over government access to user data. In 2021, after significant research and internal discussion, we launched a statement and landing page dedicated to “direct access.”