Category Archive: International affairs

How law enforcement cooperates – and what we should do about it

In the second part of a two-part series, Simon Davies examines the ongoing controversy over arrangements for exchange of information and judicial process between nations. Last week, the European Parliament approved a new Umbrella Agreement to protect personal information that is passed between the law enforcement authorities in the EU and the US. It’s a …

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Checkmate for human rights in Pakistan as government moves to outlaw non-approved NGO’s

By Simon Davies The Pakistan government intends imminently to promulgate a new law that will have the effect of destroying its entire independent human and political rights infrastructure. The regulations are planned to take force in around eight weeks. Under these regulations, all organisations must be accredited by government, and each must have a civil …

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Analysis: who should become the first UN rapporteur on privacy?

 By Simon Davies Back in March, the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) adopted a resolution to appoint a Special Rapporteur on Privacy. This was a landmark decision – and one that is well overdue. The role will be pivotal. A Special Rapporteur has the potential to create clarity and focus on a massively complex issue …

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A Denmark-based initiative could be the most strategically potent step yet for privacy rights

By Simon Davies COPENHAGEN  Rights campaigners, legal experts, journalists and officials from a range of local professional bodies met yesterday in Copenhagen to map out an innovative Denmark-based initiative aimed at forcing politicians and government officials to speak the truth when they propose intrusive security and policing measures. The event was driven by concerns that …

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Meet the Henry Jackson Society – the US government’s most subversive mouthpiece

 By Simon Davies Anyone concerned about the protection of individual freedoms should be wary of the recent proliferation of neocon “think tanks”, many of which are thinly disguised Trojan Horses that were created to support the views of the more authoritarian wing of government. Even more worrying, some of these outfits actually proclaim a commitment …

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Privacy International – foundation stone of the global privacy movement – turns 25 today

By Simon Davies On this day 25 years ago, in the sterile bar of an anonymous business hotel in Luxembourg, I hosted the first meeting of the global watchdog Privacy International. Numerically tiny as it was, that moment – in many respects – marked the commencement of the international privacy advocacy movement. I recall that …

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Why political solidarity at the Paris Hebdo rally has become the most dangerous threat ever to privacy

 By Simon Davies Anyone concerned about the future of privacy protection should take careful note of the fallout from the Charlie Hebdo shootings in France. The rapid chain of events in the days since then has triggered a domino effect of intrusive proposals and inflammatory rhetoric that could imperil the right to privacy for decades …

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How Britain became a dangerously cynical society with tinges of a police state

 By Simon Davies If proof was ever needed of the growing cynicism and despair of modern Britain, you need only consider the collapse of public trust in government, the systematic destruction of oversight and accountability, the rise of nationalism and the steady encroachment of a police state – all cheered on by a faltering parliament. …

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We ignore Pakistan’s struggle for freedom at our own peril

By Simon Davies The global outpouring of public support over the Turkish government’s latest incursion on freedom of expression has been breathtaking. International media have extensively covered the issue, providing fuel for citizen-led initiatives to oppose or circumvent the Twitter ban. This support, however, throws into sharp relief the dearth of activity around ongoing censorship …

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Beware the NSA’s contrition tactic over transparency – it’s a trap

James Clapper: using transparency to neutralise privacy

By Simon Davies Two weeks ago the Director of US National Intelligence, James Clapper, gave an interview with Eli Lake of The Daily Beast, in which he broke some new ground by stating that the core problem in recent spying controversies is that the NSA should have been more open about its activities. Against a …

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