Towards Multilateral Standards for Surveillance Reform

SNV in the Media

Edward Snowden’s revelations about the mass surveillance capabilities of the United States’ National Security Agency and its partners have created a unique opportunity to work towards the adoption of multilateral human rights-compliant standards for government surveillance conducted against nationals of other countries. This paper attempts to map a path toward new international standards for foreign intelligence collection, in order to achieve increased transparency, control and oversight of national surveillance practices. We provide a basic comparison of the legal frameworks governing foreign surveillance law in the US and selected EU Member States, and set out the applicable international human rights law and major reform initiatives in as far as they relate to foreign surveillance and its oversight. We attempt to identify key issues relevant to all signals intelligence reform efforts and to provide an analytical framework to guide the development of new standards and realistic options for reform.

January 19, 2015

Von Ian Brown (University of Oxford),
Morton H. Halperin (Open Society Fundation),
Ben Hayes,
Ben Scott (stiftung neue verantwortung),
Mathias Vermeulen (European University Institute)