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FSFE backs 13 principles against surveillance
A coalition of more than 265 organisations launched a list of 13 International Principles on the Application of Human Rights to Communication Surveillance. The groups officially presented the list of principles on Friday last week during the 24th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva.
With these principles, based on international human rights law, the international coalition of civil society organisations demands that states strictly limit surveillance of their citizens to cases where this is necessary and proportionate.
"We need to evaluate whether surveillance laws and practices are consistent with human rights", says Karsten Gerloff, President of the Free Software Foundation Europe. "These 13 principles give us a firm basis for doing so."
Mass surveillance is dangerous to democratic societies. It deprives citizens of the right to communicate freely, without self-censorship or intrusion by others.
"Technology should be a means to freedom and creativity. Yet governments around the world are turning computers and networks into tools of oppression," says Gerloff. "For free societies to thrive, Free Software and shelter from indiscriminate surveillance are both essential."