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January 2010

US Secretary of State Backs Internet Freedom

With a heightened support for the protection of Internet freedom and privacy, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton delivered a speech at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. affirming that the United States stands for a single Internet where all of humanity has equal access to knowledge and ideas. Endorsing the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, she noted that terrorism and other threats “must not become an excuse for governments to systematically violate the rights and privacy of those who use the internet for peaceful political purposes”. She went a step further, noting that the US is “supporting the development of new tools that enable citizens to exercise their rights of free expression by circumventing politically motivated censorship."

UN Rapporteur Calls for International Privacy Agreement

The UN Rapporteur on human rights and counter-terrorism has called for a global declaration on data protection and data privacy. In its Annual Report, the UN Rapporteur stressed the need of an analytical framework for ensuring that any restrictions on privacy rights are necessary, proportionate and adequately regulated.

The report assesses the developments that have adversely affected the right to privacy in various parts of the world using the justification of combating terrorism. These include racial or ethnic profiling, creation of privacy-intrusive databases and resorting to new technology, such as body scanners, without proper human rights assessment. The UN Special Rapporteur dismisses the perception that in an all-encompassing process of "balancing" counter-terrorism always outweighs privacy.

Google to Stop Filtering Search Results in China

Google has announced that it will no longer censor results on the Chinese version of its search engine,, after discovering serious security breaches on its corporate cloud infrastructure. Chinese law requires Internet companies to install Internet filters, and up until now Google has complied. Civil society groups have widely opposed mandated filtering, censorship of Internet content, and surveillance of Internet users. In the Seoul Declaration (2008) and the Madrid Declaration, they urged governments and Internet firms to protect freedom of expression and privacy. An EPIC Report (1999) found that filters are imprecise and block access to constitutionally protected speech in the United States.

Israel and Andorra Ensures an Adequate Level of Privacy Protection

Article 29 Data Protection Working Party released two assessments that consider Andorra and Israel a country that offers an adequate level of protection. The European Commission has the final power to determine whether Andorra and Israel ensures that protection. The effect of such a decision means that personal data can flow among all those countries with an adequate level of protection.

Stop Digital Strip Searches in airports!

The supporters of the Madrid Declaration are calling on national governments to suspend the deployment of body scanners until a full evaluation of the technology is completed. The Madrid Privacy Declaration has been signed by more than 200 privacy and consumer experts and organizations around the globe. For more information, see The Public Voice: Stop Digital Strip Searches, The Public Voice: The Madrid Declaration, and FB Group: Stop Airport Strip Searches.




This is a listing of events which may be useful for civil society to participate, connect and network on issues relating to information and communication technologies and policies.


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Past Events

The Public Voice Conference:
"Privacy Rights are a Global Challenge"

The Public Voice
Punta del Este
October 22, 2012

The Public Voice Civil Society Meeting: "Next Generation Privacy Challenges and Opportunities"

Lillie Coney, Chair
EPIC Associate Director

The Public Voice
October 25, 2010

Madrid - Spain. The Public Voice: Global Privacy Standards in a Global World
November 3, 2009

Madrid logo

Sharm El Sheikh - Egypt. United Nations. IV Internet Governance Forum November 15-18, 2009


OECD 2008 Ministerial Meeting on the Future of the Internet Economy

Seoul logo

Civil Society Privacy Conference
Sept. 25, 2007

Terra Incognita logo

OECD Participative Web Forum
Oct. 3, 2007

Past Public Voice Events

Cape Town Conference »

Wroclaw Conference »

Buenos Aires Conference »

Participation in the World Summit on the Information Society Internet Governance Caucus »

Civil Society Background Paper

Background paper logo