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Did the European Court of Human Rights Just Outlaw “Massive Monitoring of Communications” in Europe?

Over the past two years, a trio of high-profile cases before the European Court of Human Rights that concern the United Kingdom’s large dragnet surveillance programs—and the country’s collaboration with the NSA—have become the focus of many activists’ hopes that the Court will effectively outlaw indiscriminate surveillance in Europe once and for all. With yesterday’s release of a judgment in a little-known case against Hungary, it turns out that the Court may effectively have just done exactly that.

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Making Privacy a Reality: The Safe Harbor Judgment and Its Consequences for US Surveillance Reform

Earlier this month, the Grand Chamber of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) struck down the legal underpinnings of the EU-US Safe Harbor Agreement—the arrangement that enabled thousands of US companies to transfer EU users’ data to the US for processing and storage. Although the Court’s decision to invalidate the basis for Safe Harbor has placed a serious burden on transatlantic trade, the judgment makes clear and persuasive findings about the protections EU residents’ data must enjoy when transferred to the US. In doing so, it has provided a major impetus for reforms to Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).

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UN Member States Call for US Surveillance Reforms

Last week, the UN Human Rights Council conducted the Universal Periodic Review (“UPR”) of the United States. The Administration should give immediate and serious consideration to countries’ recommendations to recognize that human rights apply to all surveillance; that any surveillance program must be subject to adequate judicial, congressional, and independent oversight; and that anyone whose fundamental rights are violated by surveillance activities must have access to effective redress.

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Controversial French Surveillance Regulation Should Re-Ignite EU Debate on Surveillance Reform

France is moving ahead with new legislation to enable expanded electronic surveillance. As expected, the surveillance bill, the Projet de Loi Relatif au Renseignement, was passed by Members of the French National Assembly. A wide range of French civil society groups, lawyers, and technology industry groups have voiced strong opposition to the bill from its inception. Indeed, the bill is so excessive that we believe it could, and should, lead to a renewed debate on surveillance reform across Europe.

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US to Answer for Surveillance Practices on Global Stage

It only happens once every four and a half years, but it’s about to happen this month: the United States will appear before the assembled United Nations Member States to listen and respond to critiques of its human rights record. CDT has been working hard to ensure that the US’ surveillance practices are at the top of the agenda for this process, which is known as the Universal Periodic Review (“UPR”). We hope the official comments aired during the session will help to reinforce strong human rights standards around government surveillance and hold the US to account for its abuses.

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UK Tribunal: Secret Policies on Surveillance Violate Human Rights

The UK’s Investigatory Powers Tribunal, which handles challenges to the country’s secret-surveillance programs, ruled that the intelligence agency GCHQ had violated human rights when it failed to tell the British public about the kinds of circumstances in which it could conduct warrantless mining of Internet users’ communications that had been collected by the US National Security Agency.

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Change the Channel: How UK’s Adoption of a Mandatory Anti-Radicalization Program Could Violate Human Rights

CDT believes that the provisions of the CTS Bill that would codify Channel—and, potentially, similar programs that are beginning to appear in places such as the Netherlands—are not only flawed policy, but also bad law. We delve into why, and urge the UK Parliament to take a hard look at aspects of the bill and redraft them to ensure that the fundamental human rights of all individuals in the UK are fully respected.

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Coalition Urges Congress to Increase Funding for MLAT Process

CDT and Access have led a coalition of organizations in urging the US Congress to provide greater support for what we believe is the best way of addressing cross-border law-enforcement requests for users’ electronic data: the mutual legal assistance treaty (MLAT) process. MLATs are formal and binding agreements between countries that set out the procedures through which law-enforcement authorities can seek criminal evidence from other countries.

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