Human rights organizations call on states to stop digital surveillance and respect human rights

Human rights organizations call on states to stop digital surveillance and respect human rights

Human rights organizations call on states to stop digital surveillance and respect human rights

Several leading international and domestic human rights organizations, including digital rights, have launched a petition calling on governments using digital surveillance technologies to fight pandemics around the world to respect human rights in their procedures.
The statement stressed that the control measures adopted to address the epidemic must be legitimate, necessary, and proportionate, and should be stipulated by law and justified according to legitimate public health goals as defined by the public health authorities, and be appropriate to those needs. With the need for governments to maintain transparency about the measures that they take to allow for closer examination and that these measures and powers be time-bound.

The statement pointed out that although we live in extraordinary times, the human rights law is still in effect, and the human rights framework has been designed to ensure that the balance of different rights is carefully preserved, in order to protect individuals and societies in general. Countries cannot ignore rights such as privacy, freedom of opinion and expression, the right to assemble and organize digitally in the name of fighting the public health crisis.

The statement pointed out that any response to the epidemic must include protection of the right to accountability and guarantees against violations. The increased surveillance efforts related to the Coronavirus should not fall within the scope of the security or intelligence agencies, nor should they be subject to effective oversight by independent civilian bodies.