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More Ambitious Agenda, Stronger Safeguards Needed

(Brussels) – The European Union’s draft rules to regulate internet platforms have the potential to better protect human rights online, Human Rights Watch said today. But the European Parliament should be more ambitious in holding technology companies…
EU Digital Regulation
News
Dear EU High Representative Borrell and Foreign Ministers of the EU member states, We are writing following credible revelations that Israeli NSO Group’s Pegasus Spyware was used to hack the devices of six Palestinian human rights activists – the…
News

Civil Society Groups, Experts Urge Action Against Company

(Brussels) – The European Union should adopt targeted sanctions against NSO Group, the Israel-based company that produces spyware, 88 human rights groups and independent experts said today in a letter to the EU foreign policy chief and foreign…
NSO Group logo on building
News

Clear Red Lines, Stronger Safeguards Needed

(Brussels) – The European Union’s plan to regulate artificial intelligence is ill-equipped to protect people from flawed algorithms that deprive them of lifesaving benefits and discriminate against vulnerable populations, Human Rights Watch said in…
EU Media Conference on Artificial Intelligence
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Updated Regulations Aim to Restrict Sales to Abusive Governments

(Brussels) – The improvements to the European Union’s export controls rules on surveillance technology are so fragile that only rigorous efforts to carry them out will prevent EU technology from landing in the hands of abusive governments, Human…
European lawmakers stand up during a signing ceremony at the European Parliament, Brussels, Belgium, March 10, 2021. 
News

Privacy, Non-Discrimination, and Social Security Safeguards Needed

The last decade has seen an alarming proliferation of artificial intelligence (“AI”) to monitor protests, predict crime, and profile minorities, in ways that gravely threaten our human rights. The European Commission has pledged to develop…
European Union flags are waving in front of the headquarters of the European Commission in Brussels. August 5, 2020.
News
Graduating into a global pandemic was never going to be easy. But for some in the high school class of COVID-19, their academic futures were further jeopardized by a predictive algorithm that assigned them final grades without explanation or means…
Students walk along a corridor at a school for girls in the U.K. that offers the International Baccalaureate program.
News

Member States Should Put Rights Ahead of Profits

(Brussels) – The European Union should adopt stronger regulations to prevent cyber surveillance technology developed in Europe from being sold to repressive governments,  Human Rights Watch said today in a letter to the European Union together…
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News

Unlimited Surveillance Powers Are Among a Series of Attacks on Freedoms

(New York) – Nepal’s Special Service Bill risks giving the national intelligence agency unlimited surveillance and search powers, Human Rights Watch said today. The proposed law, which permits communications interception without judicial oversight,…
Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli attends this year's fiscal policy and programs during complete nationwide lockdown at federal parliament in Kathmandu, Nepal on Friday, May 15, 2020.
News

Government Should Reform the Law and Police Response to Address Rising Tide of Abuse

Imagine discovering private – and perhaps intimate – photos of yourself online. Strangers are posting humiliating comments, with personal details, making you identifiable to the world. This is increasingly a reality for women and girls in…
Women hold placards during a protest against sexual violence in Kathmandu, Nepal
News
If you’re worried about how facial recognition technology is being used, you should be. And things are about to get a lot scarier unless new regulation is put in place. Already, this technology is being used in many U.S. cities and…
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News

Online Fraud Laws Used to Crack Down on Free Speech

The recent crackdown on journalists in Nepal is bad enough, but now the authorities have gone one step further and jailed a comedian for critiquing a film. Pranesh Gautam, 24, an architect and part-time comedian who posts on…
A journalist protests a set of laws that threaten to curb free speech, Kathmandu, Nepal, September 19, 2018.
News

Questions and Answers

Comprehensive data protection laws are essential for protecting human rights – most obviously, the right to privacy, but also many related freedoms that depend on our ability to make choices about how and with whom we share information about ourselves.…
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NetzDG is Wrong Response to Online Abuse

(Berlin) – The new German law that compels social media companies to remove hate speech and other illegal content can lead to unaccountable, overbroad censorship and should be promptly reversed, Human Rights Watch said today. The law sets a…
Session of the German lower house of Parliament, Bundestag, in Berlin, February 1, 2018.
News

US-EU Data Transfer Deal Under Cloud of Doubt

Are the privacy and other rights of European internet users at risk when US companies transfer their data to the United States? Undeniably yes – unless the US overhauls its sweeping surveillance laws. Recent developments…
U.S. and European Union flags are pictured in front of the European Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium February 20, 2017.
News

Says Hostile to Privacy, Democratic Freedoms

This week, the European Union’s top court once again found that blanket data retention mandates are hostile to privacy and democratic freedoms, and incompatible with EU law. Such mandates require service providers to store data on all of the provider’s…
News
Today Julian Assange, the Wikileaks publisher, begins his third year confined in the Ecuadorean embassy in London. He fled there, receiving political asylum, when Sweden sought his extradition to answer sexual assault allegations. Although both Assange…