Blog posts by Access Policy Team

Access in the News

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

11:42am | 4 August 2015 | by Access Policy Team

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.

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

12:07pm | 21 July 2015 | by Access Policy Team

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.

Access puts surveillance on agenda for Human Rights Council elections

9:19am | 17 July 2015 | by Access Policy Team

On Wednesday, July 15, Access took the floor at a UN event to discuss candidates for the Human Rights Council. In response, six out of eight participating candidate countries echoed the importance of prioritizing the right to privacy at the Council.

UN creates new Special Rapporteur on the Right to Privacy

10:15pm | 26 March 2015 | by Access Policy Team

Responding to civil society voices, and the leadership of Brazil and Germany, the Human Rights Council has moved decisively forward in the battle for privacy online.

Legal battle in Kenya set to determine country’s surveillance future

3:03pm | 7 January 2015, Kenya | by Access Policy Team

The High Court of Kenya has temporarily suspended the implementation of eight clauses of the Security Laws (Amendment) Act of 2014, which restricts the exercise of human rights in Kenya. Access applauds the High Court’s decision in suspending these parts of the law law and urges the Court to thoroughly consider the entire law’s human rights impact in its ultimate assessment.

ITU Plenipotentiary 2014: Impressions and analysis of outcomes

7:08pm | 10 December 2014 | by Access Policy Team

After weeks of heated discussions, the International Telecommunication Union Plenipotentiary Conference closed on November 7th, ending on a significantly lighter note than the controversial 2012 World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT). Internet governance expert Avri Doria attended the conference in Busan, South Korea, better known as “the Plenipot,” on behalf of Access. Here are her impressions of the outcomes of the conference.

Access calls for a rejection of proposed U.S. botnet investigation rule

10:50am | 5 November 2014 | by Access Policy Team

Access Senior Policy Counsel Amie Stepanovich testifies on behalf of Access/EFF urging the rejection of a proposed rule which would substantively expand the instances in which a government could search or seize control of an individual’s computer in the search for Botnets.

ITU Plenipotentiary: Halftime Updates

8:01pm | 3 November 2014 | by Access Policy Team

International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Plenipotentiary conference is held once every four years, and we expected this year’s conference in Busan, Korea to be full of controversy. The Conference is now about halfway over and our expectations came true. Here’s a quick halftime report on the major happenings and topics of conversation.

What to Watch at the ITU Plenipotentiary Conference 2014

5:01pm | 23 October 2014 | by Access Policy Team

Access has written up an overview of the top procedural and substantive concerns to look out for at ITU Plenipotentiary as well as recommendations for relevant and productive areas for the ITU to focus its work on in the coming four years.

Joint Submission to the UN UPR Working Group

10:26am | 16 September 2014 | by Access Policy Team

Access, in coordination with partners, has submitted a comment in advance of the Human Rights Council 2015 Universal Periodic Review of the United States of America, which calls for reform of current surveillance laws, including the establishment of remedial mechanisms.

Access launches

9:17am | 4 September 2014 | by Access Policy Team

Access launched, a website that makes it easy to explore the text and geographical scope of Mutual Legal Assistance Treaties (MLATs).

African Union adopts framework on cyber security and data protection

8:30am | 22 August 2014 | by Access Policy Team

Without much media attention, the heads of state of the African Union (AU) agreed to a landmark convention this summer affecting many aspects of digital life.

Access tells the FCC to use its authority to reclassify broadband and protect net neutrality

10:07am | 18 July 2014 | by Access Policy Team

This week Access submitted comments to the FCC urging it to use its full authority to reclassify broadband internet access service as a telecommunications service under Title II of the Telecommunications Act — the only viable way the agency can safeguard the values that enabled the internet to become a global force for commerce, culture, free expression, and innovation.

World’s top human rights authority slams global surveillance practices in new report

11:20am | 17 July 2014 | by Access Policy Team

In a scathing new report, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights warns that mass surveillance is “emerging as a dangerous habit rather than an exceptional measure” and that “the very existence of a mass surveillance programme…creates an interference with privacy.” The commissioner also slams judicial review processes, writing that in many countries they “ an exercise in rubber-stamping.”

PCLOB report fails to consider the rights of non-U.S. persons or promote legislative reform

2:01pm | 2 July 2014 | by Access Policy Team

PCLOB Section 702 surveillance report fails to consider the rights of those most affected by Section 702 mass surveillance programs, or address the pressing need for legislative reform.