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Government Surveillance

Common Ground Between Company and Civil Society Surveillance Reform Principles

On December 9, AOL, Apple, Facebook, Google, Linkedin, Microsoft, Twitter, and Yahoo! issued a call for governments around the world to reform their surveillance laws, as well as a released a set of principles to guide such reform. These principles align well in many ways with principles that civil society groups released this July applying human rights concepts to communications surveillance. While the respective principles differ in some important ways, there is enough commonality to suggest ample space for civil society and industry to move forward on a common set of norms and reforms that should inform the debate about surveillance law globally. This paper explores that commonality.