Related Insights

CDT response to European Commission Consultation on Improving Cross-Border Access to Electronic Evidence in Criminal Matters

We recognise the concerns about difficulties in obtaining electronic data relevant for criminal investigations that motivates the EC’s initiative. Our overriding message is that as the EC considers its next step, it must ensure that protection of fundamental rights is front and centre. We refer to existing human rights principles on necessity and proportionality and ask that they be included in any initiative the EC puts forward.

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Summary of Meeting with the Digital Agenda Intergroup of the European Parliament

On 6 September 2017, the Digital Agenda Intergroup of the European Parliament and CDT held a closed roundtable on removing illegal content online while protecting human rights. This is a summary of the debate held under Chatham House rules. The event focused on challenges to existing intermediary liability limitations, and free expression, from the DSM Copyright Directive Art. 13, as well as the need for consistent and harmonized notice and action procedures across the EU.

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Third party intervention in the Bureau of Investigative Journalism case

On July 8th, CDT submitted a third party intervention (amicus brief) to the European Court of Human Rights in the Bureau of Investigative Journalism and Alice Ross v. United Kingdom case. The journalist applicants challenged the United Kingdom’s Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act, Tempora program, and surveillance practices generally. They argued that blanket surveillance had a chilling effect on their profession, and did not satisfy the Court’s standards for compatibility with Articles 8 (privacy) and 10 (freedom of expression) of the European Convention on Human Rights. CDT drew attention to similarities to US surveillance practices, which undoubtedly fail to satisfy the Court’s standards, and argued that the receipt of US intelligence alone makes the UK’s practices incompatible with the Convention.

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CDT & PEN American Center Intervene in Big Brother Watch vs. UK Case

CDT intervened jointly with PEN American Center on the case “Big Brother Watch and others v. the United Kingdom,” arguing that the US’ protections for individual rights in the area of secret surveillance are so weak that the UK violates its obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights when it receives data the NSA obtains through large-scale surveillance programs.

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CDT & PI Third-Party Intervention

Following the 2014 decision of the Court of Justice of the EU to strike down an EU-wide mandatory data retention scheme because it breached privacy rights, the national data retention laws of a number of EU Member States have also come under scrutiny. CDT and Privacy International have now intervened in a case against France to argue that the country’s sweeping data retention requirements violate EU law, as well as the European Convention on Human Rights.

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Written Evidence to the Joint Committee on the Draft Investigatory Powers Bill

Monday, December 21, 2016, CDT submitted comments in response to a call for evidence from the Parliament of the United Kingdom’s Joint Committee on the Draft Investigatory Powers Bill. In our submission, we discuss features of the Draft Investigatory Powers Bill that are clearly incompatible with human rights law as well as technically overbroad, highly intrusive, and potentially dangerous.

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UK Parliament Draft Bill Falls Far Short of Democratic Standards

In November 2015, the United Kingdom’s Home Secretary released the draft of an expansive surveillance bill with the stated goal of consolidating and clarifying the UK government’s surveillance and hacking powers. As CDT has previously explained, we are deeply concerned by the many serious human rights, security, and oversight flaws in the draft Bill. In early December, we submitted written evidence to the UK Parliament’s Joint Committee on Human Rights explaining why we think the draft Bill’s surveillance authorization provisions, in particular, fall far short of democratic standards.

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Warrantless Surveillance under Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act: Myths and Facts

On October 6, 2015, the Court of Justice of the European Union issued a judgment invalidating the EU-US Safe Harbor Agreement, the legal basis upon which thousands of US companies had relied in order to transfer European users’ data to the United States for processing and/or storage. Elements of the US government have long sought to portray Section 702 surveillance as limited and protective of privacy. This explainer by CDT and other civil society groups on the myths and realities of warrantless Section 702 surveillance sets the record straight about Section 702.

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