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Proposed New York City Law a Model for Regulation

Elected officials and local authorities across the United States and around the world should consider replicating an innovative legislative proposal that would prohibit police from arming robots used in their law enforcement operations. The bill,…
A black robot with four legs resembling a dog stands on a stage in front of a shite background.
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New Law Needed to Retain Meaningful Human Control Over the Use of Force

(Geneva) – Russia, the United States, and a handful of other nations investing in autonomous weapons are preventing efforts to start negotiations on a new treaty to retain meaningful human control over the use of force, Human Rights Watch said…
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Government Still Rejects Regulations Preventing ‘Killer Robots’

As the United States Department of Defense releases a strategy on artificial intelligence (AI), questions loom about whether the US government intends to accelerate its investments in weapons systems that would select and engage targets…
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US and Russia Among States Who Object to Prohibition

Opposition to the creation of so-called “killer robots” – weapons systems that could select and attack targets without any human intervention – is growing. The issue has been hotly debated since 2013, when the Campaign to Stop Killer…
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Courts Need to Be Able to Rule on Legality of New Biometric, AI Technologies

US law enforcement agencies’ use of Rekognition, an Amazon surveillance system that uses facial recognition powered by artificial intelligence, poses threats to the rights to peaceful assembly and respect for private life, among others…
An Amazon.com Inc driver stands next to an Amazon delivery truck in Los Angeles, California, U.S., May 21, 2016.
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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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President-elect Should Leave Divisive Rhetoric Behind and Set New Tone

(Washington, DC) – United States President-elect Donald Trump should abandon campaign rhetoric that seemed to reject many of the United States’ core human rights obligations and put rights at the heart of his administration’s domestic and foreign policy…
US President-elect Donald Trump addresses supporters during his election night rally in Manhattan, New York, November 9, 2016.
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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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As the Senate considers the USA Freedom Act this week, policymakers should strengthen it by limiting large-scale collection of records and reinforcing transparency and carrying court reforms further. The Senate should also take care not to weaken the bill…
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When it comes to banning “killer robots,” the United States is going to take some convincing. That was one major take-away from April’s multilateral meeting on the matter where a US delegation joined 90 other nations at the United Nations in Geneva to…
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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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The systems of surveillance that Edward Snowden revealed in both the UK and US depend on law for their justification, and are facing legal challenges in both countries’ legislatures. This might give the impression that, whatever the merits of these…
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We the undersigned represent a wide range of privacy and human rights advocates, technology companies, and trade associations that hold an equally wide range of positions on the issue of surveillance reform.  Many of us have differing views on exactly…
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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-…