Access Now Policy Team


Briefing note: UN Human Rights Council 26th session

The 26th session of the Human Rights Council (HRC26) will take place in Geneva from 10 to 27 June. A wide range of internet-related human rights issues will be discussed at this HRC26 session, including racism and the internet, online freedom of expression during elections processes, and technology-related violence against women. These discussions signal a continuing trend at the HRC of a focus on the internet and human rights.

18 December 2015


Access Now signs international joint statement on privacy and data protection

Today, Access Now joined a coalition of digital rights and consumer privacy organizations to ask the Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners to focus on the need to update and enforce privacy laws in the digital age. The statement comes as the Commissioners and Data Protection Authorities gather in Amsterdam for an annual conference to discuss new and emerging issues in technology and privacy.

28 October 2015


Announcing the 2015 Heroes & Villains of Human Rights and Communications Surveillance

Today Access recognizes the individuals and groups that have either been champions of the 13 internationally recognized principles for human rights in communications surveillance (“Heroes”), or have undermined or violated those principles (“Villains”). These principles, called the International Principles on the Application of Human Rights to Communications Surveillance (or “the Principles”), have been endorsed by more than 400 civil society groups worldwide. They provide a framework for assessing whether government surveillance practices comply with international human rights obligations. Today marks the two-year anniversary of the Principles, which were publicly released on September 22, 2013.

22 September 2015


What the E.U.-U.S. Umbrella Agreement does — and does not — mean for privacy

Negotiators from the United States and the European Union recently reached a preliminary deal on the so-called Umbrella Agreement, a transatlantic deal that sets standards for protecting personal data when it is transferred for law enforcement purposes. However, one key hurdle remains before the agreement will get sign off: the U.S. must grant a right to remedy for E.U. citizens who suffer privacy violations. It remains to be seen whether the U.S. will follow through on providing that protection, and whether it will be meaningful enough to meet E.U. standards.

10 September 2015


Five Eyes’ surveillance under fire by U.N. Human Rights Committee

Last week the U.N. Human Rights Committee graded the United States on its surveillance practices. It also issued “concluding observations” for seven countries on human rights, including “Five Eyes” members Canada and the United Kingdom. In the conclusions the Committee strongly condemned the use of surveillance as a violation of the right to privacy.

4 August 2015


Access to U.S.: Listen to world human rights body and end unlawful surveillance

On Monday, July 20th, the U.S. State Department held a consultation with civil society to discuss the recommendations that the U.S. received during a U.N. review of its human rights record. Access participated remotely, and asked representatives of the Obama Administration to accept 16 recommendations regarding the right to privacy and unlawful surveillance. The recommendations include conducting a review of U.S. national laws and policies in order to ensure that all surveillance of digital communications is consistent with international human rights obligations.

21 July 2015

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