The International Principles on the Application of Human Rights to Communications Surveillance (the “Necessary and Proportionate Principles” or “13 Principles”) show how existing human rights law applies to modern digital surveillance. Drafted by a global coalition of civil society, privacy and technology experts in 2013, they have been endorsed by over 600 organizations and over 270,000 individuals worldwide. Here you find the Principles, supporting analytical and implementation documents, and a track record of citations. We also invite you and your organization to sign them! Learn more about the history of the 13 Principles.
This document aims to clarify how international human rights law applies in the current digital environment, particularly in light of the increase in and changes to communications surveillance. These principles offer a bedrock for privacy in the digital age and are the outcome of a global consultation with civil society groups, industry, and international experts in communications surveillance law, policy, and technology.
Global Legal Analysis
This report by EFF provides background and supporting international legal analysis for the International Principles on the Application of Human Rights to Communications Surveillance.
This guide by Access Now considers the process of conducting communications surveillance vis-à-vis the Principles. It draws on existing human rights jurisprudence and is divided into five parts: the government’s application to conduct surveillance, judicial consideration of the application, the commission of the surveillance, appeals and remedies, and international cooperation. It contains examples and checklists for government agents, judges, and lawyers who are involved in the communications surveillance process.
Interamerican Legal Analysis
This report by EFF and Derechos Digitales explains how to apply Inter-American human rights standards in the context of communications surveillance.
Since their launch in 2013, the Principles on the Application of Human Rights to Communications Surveillance have been cited in various reports, statements, and documents as a reference in the protection of privacy in the digital age. Here is a selection of them.
Sign the Principles
Join the organizations and individuals that have already endorsed the Principles. Your (or your organizations’) signature makes us stronger!