An email I sent to the Irish Council for Civil Liberties. Quite succint and un-emotive, but that’s the way of The Law, I suppose. There’s something kind of cute and utopian about these ‘International Principles’ and ‘International Charters’, but that’s just cynical ol’ me talking…. Hummmm.
To Whom It May Concern,
As a recipient of the bi-weekly EDRi-gram (Electronic Digital Rights newsletter), I try to keep abreast of developments in the field of digital civil rights, and I recently learned of the 13 Principles on the Application of Human Rights to Communications Surveillance. The 13 principles were officially presented in Geneva on the 20th of September, spurred on by revelations (still emerging) about the breadth and depth of mass internet surveillance being carried out by intelligence agencies, often in the name of security or anti-piracy.
Speaking at the launch event, Navi Pillay, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights said that, ‘technological advancements have been powerful tools for democracy by giving access to all to participate in society, but increasing use of data mining by intelligence agencies blurs lines between legitimate surveillance and arbitrary mass surveillance.’
In the words of Frank La Rue, UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and Opinion, ‘the right to privacy is often understood as an essential requirement for the realization of the right to freedom of expression. Undue interference with individuals’ privacy can both directly and indirectly limit the free development and exchange of ideas. An infringement upon one right can be both the cause and consequence of an infringement upon the other.’
I notice, however, from the 13 Principles website that the ICCL is not a signatory, and that in fact there is no Irish signatory to this document. In the ICCL’s capacity as both a watchdog for civil liberties, and an educator on these issues, I feel it of the utmost importance that your organisation raise awareness of this issue, and join this international coalition of signatories in calling for an assessment of surveillance practices in a human rights context.
Well, howyis now. After two months away from (admittedly, sporadic) blogging, I MISS it. It felt like I had no ‘home’ online. Facebook is like an airport terminal, Twitter is a bit like being stuck on a really fast escalator, and Soundcloud’s like a really nice gig where you’re absorbed in the music but not up for the chats.
This blog was like my bedroom. Sure, no-one was visiting, but I had my slippers, my music, and a bed to sit on. So here I am again.
In honour of coming home, here is this absolutely BEAUTIFUL song by Geoffrey Oryema –
Pardon our appearance, laydeez and gintlemen. My move back to Ireland will coincide with the expiry of this domain name, so there will be a bit of a hiatus on this front. Packing cases in real life and cyber suitcases here.
I shall see all of ye at a thrilling new location soon! Thanks for stopping by and hasta pronto. MWAH!
I found it on this post. Very interesting blog.
La Quadrature du Net is a fantastic site which “aims to alert on government projects that threaten civil liberties on the Internet and to make alternative proposals”.
ACTA (Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement) is one of the most pertinent issues currently, posing as it does such a massive threat to civil liberties. An older post on that here.
The political memory section has names, contact details and the voting records of every MEP, by country and by committee. I might even write to some of them, in my naivety. Like Paul Murphy, a Socialist from Dublin. He’s on the International Trade Committee (INTA), the main one working on ACTA.
Closer to home (as in, at home), the Copyright Review Committee (set up by Minister Richard Bruton) published a consultation paper in March. “Innovation” is the buzz-word here, how can we nurture it, foster it, encourage it, attract it and its innovative practitioners to Ireland. I’m chomping through the 182-page report – the Department (of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation) are accepting submissions from the public, so I might as well.
I’ll do a proper post on it once I’m finished.
Sooo…. this funding project doodah is starting so. Apparently, I need more fans for this to succeed.
To the left, there is a widget. A widget with which to lure in new fans and potential funders of said album. The song, “Sunday Sun”, is one of the first I wrote. Ahhh.
Ooohhh the world of internet marketing and self-promotion is a strange one. More of this in a while.