IRIS Actions / SMSI / Droits de l'homme - Human Rights

Civil society Working group on Privacy and Security
On behalf of the Human Rights Caucus, the African Caucus and the Privacy and Security Working Group
Statement on section 5 of the Draft Declaration of Principles
September 23, 2003

Address to PrepCom3 of September 15-26, 2003, Geneva, Switzerland

My name is Ralf Bendrath and I am representing the civil society working group on privacy and security. I am now also speaking on behalf of the African Caucus and the Human Rights Caucus.

We have two strong concerns in relation to section five of the Declaration of Principles on building trust, confidence and security in the use of ICTs.

Firstly, the discussions since the Paris Intersessional have shifted from a focus on the need for infrastructure integrity to a highly politicized agenda, characterized by language referring to the integrity of the military field and the use of information resources for criminal and terrorist purposes. Definitions of criminal and terrorist purposes in existing and emerging policies and legislation are ambiguous and prevent the use of information resources for legitimate purposes. They threaten rights such as the right to privacy, freedom of association, freedom of movement and freedom of expression.

We would therefore recommend the deletion of paragraph 28. However, if the paragraph is kept, we ask that the phrase "consistent with the need to preserve the free flow of information" be retained. The alternative proposal - "in accordance with the legal system of each country" - cannot be accepted by civil society.

Secondly, we reject use of the term "information security" as this implies regulation of content and can easily be used to legitimize censorship and surveillance measures. Civil society therefore strongly suggest that you use the accurate technical term - "network security".

We have also submitted specific language on this.

Thank you for your attention.

Contacts in Geneva for Human Rights Caucus
Diana Bronson, Rikke Frank Jorgensen, Meryem Marzouki
Web site and mailing list of the HRIS caucus:

(dernière mise à jour le 18/12/2004) -