Thursday, December 10, 2015

Estelle Massé's Speech Before The European Parliament on Responses To Terrorism, Mass Surveillance and Human Rights

Access Now analyst Estelle Massé delivered a (standing-ovation worthy) speech at the European Parliament on December 2, 2015.

The issues of mass surveillance, (invasion of) privacy and security are of tremendous importance to all of us - everywhere.

I strongly encourage you to read her speech in full (please click the link below).

Here's a brief excerpt:

"Our democracies are based on the protection of universal human rights. This protection must be ensured throughout the legislative process, at every level, and not left to judicial power. We have learnt the hard way that fast-tracked, short-sighted legislation harms users’ rights, undermines legal certainty, and weakens the basis of our societies. Consider the government reactions to previous attacks — including New York in 2001.

At the time, authorities sought additional powers to fight emerging threats. Unfortunately, the measures taken did not necessarily provide greater security, and often clamped down on the human rights of their citizens. Years later, we are still trying to roll back many of those hastily made decisions."

"There is a way to ensure that people who represent a threat to others are apprehended rapidly, without doing harm to human rights. It is not about more data but more cooperation between law enforcement agencies. In most of the attacks that took place in the EU in the past, the attackers were known from at least one national intelligence services but the information was not shared.

We must learn from past mistakes. We need leadership not just to keep us safe, but also to protect our most cherished values and human rights."

Access Now testifies on mass surveillance in the EU at European Parliament 

("Access Now defends and extends the digital rights of users at risk around the world. By combining innovative policy, user engagement, and direct technical support, we fight for open and secure communications for all.")

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