Transnational Surveillance and Crossborder Privacy Protections

4 September 2014 - A Workshop on Other in Istanbul, Turkey

Original Proposal

IGF 2014 sub theme that this workshop fall under

Internet and Human Rights


How can we protect our privacy when our most private communications can be covertly collected and analysed by States all around the world? How can freedom of expression exist if every time we read a text or article by a controversial author, our actions are automatically logged and stored by the machines, algorithms, and agents of the state?

Since the Snowden revelations, many people have begun to realise that the laws of their own country provide only ineffective protection against mass surveillance and the laws of other countries provide them with no protection at all. The world is waking up to the reality that most governments treat the private communications of non-residents and foreign nationals as fair game. The UN Human Rights Committee has for the first time remonstrated the US government for failing to provide extra-territorial protection for the privacy of non-citizens and legal challenges are being brought against bulk surveillance of foreign communications around the world.

The purpose of this roundtable is to build upon these developments and discuss what needs to be done to ensure established international human rights law is respected in the context of transnational surveillance. Among the questions to be addressed are:

Should we allow the intelligence services of one country to snoop on the residents of another without restraint?
Can any country freely violate the rights of foreigners by claiming they fall outside their jurisdiction?
Are existing surveillance laws compatible with the right to non-discrimination under international law?

Name(s) and stakeholder and organizational affiliation(s) of institutional co-organizer(s)

Katitza Rodriguez, Electronic Frontier Foundation
Gabrielle Guillermin, ARTICLE 19

Has the proposer, or any of the co-organizers, organized an IGF workshop before?


The link to the workshop report

Type of session

Other - ChatShow

Duration of proposed session

60 minutes

Subject matter #tags that describe the workshop

#extraterritorial #human #rights #surveillance #trust

Names and affiliations (stakeholder group, organization) of speakers the proposer is planning to invite

Dr Eric Metcalfe
Stakeholder group: Business / Private Sector
Organization: Monckton Chambers
Stakeholder group: Business Sector
Have you contacted the speaker? Y
Has the speaker been confirmed? Y

Pilar Saenz
Stakeholder group: Civil Society
Organization: Fundación Karisma Colombia
Have you contacted the speaker? Y
Has the speaker been confirmed? Y

Patrick Ryan, Public Policy & Government Relations Senior Counsel for Free Expression and International Relations at Google.
Stakeholder group: Business Sector
Organization: Google
Have you contacted the speaker? Y
Has the speaker been confirmed? N

Gabrielle Guillemin
Stakeholder group: Civil Society
Organization: Article 19
Have you contacted the speaker? Y
Has the speaker been confirmed? Y

Ms. Nevena Ružić. Vice-Chair of the Consultative Committee set up under the Convention for the Protection of Individuals with regard to Automatic Processing of Personal Data
Stakeholder group: inter-governmental organization
Organization: Council of Europe
Have you contacted the speaker? Y
Has the speaker been confirmed? Y

Katitza Rodriguez, Electronic Frontier Foundation
Stakeholder group: Civil Society
Organization: Electronic Frontier Foundation
Have you contacted the speaker? Y
Has the speaker been confirmed? Y

Name of Moderator(s)

Katitza Rodriguez, International Rights Director, Electronic Frontier Foundation

Name of Remote Moderator(s)

Arthur Gwagwa, Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum

Description of how the proposer plan to facilitate discussion amongst speakers, audience members and remote participants

The format is chatshow, with Katitza Rodriguez, EFF International Rights Director acting as host. We will encourage our participants to be come prepared to speak for 3-4 minutes on 4 topics, but also to interact with each other and the audience in an ongoing conversation.

Description of the proposer's plans for remote participation

We plan to check twitter and invite remote participants to interact.

Background paper

background paper