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Future Whistleblowers Are Watching

Update: On Friday, Human Rights Watch sent a letter to President Obama urging that he commute the sentence of Chelsea Manning. On January 17, President Obama ordered Manning be freed, having served nearly 7 years of her sentence, on May 17, 2017, rather…
A supporter of Edward Snowden holds a combination photo featuring U.S. President Barack Obama and Edward Snowden, during a news conference in Hong Kong on June 14, 2013.
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Real Oversight and Reform on Surveillance Needed in the US

What a coincidence – just as we launch a Campaign to Pardon Edward Snowden, and as the new Oliver Stone movie opens, the House Intelligence Committee issues a report arguing against clemency for Snowden, alleging overwhelming damage he supposedly caused…
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High-Profile Campaign to Bring Whistleblower Safely Home

(New York) – US President Barack Obama should pardon Edward Snowden, who disclosed the US National Security Agency’s mass surveillance program, a coalition of prominent organizations and individuals said today. The Pardon…
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Sign Petition to Bring Whistleblower Home

Today, Human Rights Watch joins the American Civil Liberties Union, and Amnesty International in launching a public campaign urging President Obama to pardon whistleblower Edward Snowden. It’s been more than three years since…
A supporter of Edward Snowden holds a combination photo featuring U.S. President Barack Obama and Edward Snowden, during a news conference in Hong Kong on June 14, 2013.
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Privacy Violations in Intercepting, Retaining, Sharing Data With NSA

Human Rights Watch and three anonymous individuals filed a complaint today over surveillance by the United Kingdom. The complaint by Human Rights Watch to the Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT) charges its rights had been violated…
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Today marks two years since the first of Edward Snowden’s revelations about United States government surveillance shocked the world. Yet despite the international debate on privacy and the proper role of government surveillance that his disclosures set in…
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Congress Should Enact Comprehensive Surveillance Reform

(Washington, DC) – The United States Congress has taken a first small step toward curbing excessive government surveillance by passing the USA Freedom Act. The law imposes long overdue limits on the scope of records collection and new measures to increase…
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Congress Should Take First Step Toward Reform

(Washington, DC) – The United States Congress should swiftly pass the USA Freedom Act to thwart bulk data collection and improve transparency and oversight of surveillance in the US, Human Rights Watch said today. The House Judiciary Committee approved…
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Senate Should Oppose Bill Reauthorizing Domestic Bulk Data Collection

(Washington, DC) – The United States Senate should definitively end bulk data collection and reject a new bill that would endorse and extend the National Security Agency’s mass violation of privacy rights in the US, Human Rights Watch said today. …
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A much-anticipated government report officially acknowledges what Edward Snowden revealed to the world many months ago: the UK has been intercepting communications en masse. But rather than condemn the widespread snooping, the report endorses the so-…
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Back in 2008, just minutes after President George W. Bush signed amendments to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act into law, Human Rights Watch and other human rights, media, and legal groups brought a constitutional challenge to the sweeping powers…
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Government Spying Undermines Media Freedom and Right to Counsel

(Washington, DC) – Large-scale US surveillance is seriously hampering US-based journalists and lawyers in their work, Human Rights Watch and the American Civil Liberties Union said in a joint report released today. Surveillance is undermining media…
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The US government should thoroughly explain why it placed five American Muslim leaders, including the head of a prominent Muslim civil liberties group, under electronic surveillance. The information was included in an investigation made public on July 9,…
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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…
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Edward Snowden’s revelations changed the world, awakening us to a profound but insidious peril. Since last June when his first accounts of National Security Agency mass surveillance became public, we have learned how vulnerable our everyday digital…
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While not present in person, Edward Snowden’s figurative presence permeated this year’s annual Stockholm Internet Forum. Unlike past years, where optimism about Internet-driven opportunities for economic development and social innovation were…
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House Bill Flawed

(Washington, DC) – It is up to the US Senate to salvage surveillance reform, Human Rights Watch said today. The version of the USA Freedom Act that the US House of Representatives passed on May 22, 2014, could ultimately fail to end mass data collection…
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More Action Needed to Protect People Abroad

Update: On May 8, 2014, the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence approved the USA Freedom Act without changes. The bill will now be considered by the full US House of Representatives. (Washington, DC) – The US House Judiciary…
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(New York, April 8, 2014) – The former US National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden has told the Council of Europe that the NSA spied on human rights organizations, but did not identify which groups. If Snowden’s assertion is accurate, it…
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US Record Under Review at UN

(Geneva) – The United Nations Human Rights Committee should conclude that US electronic surveillance and intelligence gathering violate fundamental civil and political rights, including the right to privacy. The United States will appear before…