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Risk of Illegal Racial Profiling and Other Abuses

(Athens) – Greece is planning a new police program to scan people’s faces and fingerprints that is inconsistent with international human rights standards on privacy and likely to amplify ongoing discrimination, Human Rights Watch and Homo Digitalis…
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In December 2021, I had the chance to talk with a bright 14-year-old girl named Maria Tunbonat, a fifth-grader in a state school in Tarakan, North Kalimantan. Her father, Ayub, also joined the video call as we spoke about her school and her…
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(New York) - Human Rights Watch together with the Electronic Frontier Foundation and 125 non-governmental organizations and academics sent the following letter, urging Members of the United Nations Ad Hoc Committee on Cybercrime to ensure that its…
UN Headquarters
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Punishment of Dissent; Impunity

(Beirut) – Iranian intelligence and judicial authorities continued their crackdown on dissent in 2021, while lawmakers passed and debated laws that further violate human rights, Human Rights Watch said in its World Report 2022. Over the past three…
Iranians gather during a protest after their province's river dried up due to drought and diversion, in the central city of Isfahan, on November 19, 2021.
News

Actions Contradict Pledges of Legal Reform

(New York) – The Sri Lankan government in 2021 suppressed minority communities, harassed activists, and undermined democratic institutions, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2022. The government of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa failed…
Sri Lankan police enforce all-island travel restrictions amid Covid 19 pandemic in Sri Lanka, May 14, 2021.
News

Activists, Critics Targeted; Growing Attacks on Muslims, Groups at Risk

(New York) – Indian authorities intensified their crackdown on activists, journalists, and other critics of the government using politically motivated prosecutions in 2021, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2022. Tens of thousands of…
Women farmers attend a gathering to mark the first anniversary of their protests against controversial farm reforms at Haryana's Bahadurgarh, on the outskirts of New Delhi, India, November 26, 2021.
News

Social Media Platforms Should Not Yield to Pressure

The final days of 2021 were marked by a particularly vicious escalation of Russia’s crackdown on independent reporting and activism. Amid a flurry of new “foreign agent” designations, arrests of political activists, and appalling court rulings…
An iPhone screen shows the Telegram account of OVD-Info
News

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
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Blocking, Oppressive Laws, Pressure on Tech Companies

(Moscow) – Russian authorities redoubled their efforts in 2021 to repress internet freedoms, Human Rights Watch said today. The government blocked popular censorship circumvention tools, experimented with novel censorship technologies, expanded…
A young man wearing a face mask checks his mobile phone at the State Russian Museum, Saint Petersburg, May 26, 2020.
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Communist Party Aims to Control Dalai Lama Selection

In late November, a senior local Chinese Communist Party official toured three townships in Sog, a county in the Tibet Autonomous Region that has a history of resistance to state controls on religion. His goal: to ensure local Tibetan officials…
Graduates of a training course in official policy on the recognition of reincarnations in Ngamring County, Shigatse Municipality, Tibet Autonomous Region
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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…
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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
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Israel, Like China, Has Weaponized Surveillance Technology to Suppress Peaceful Dissent

Tech-enabled control of a persecuted population. Abusive facial recognition. Severe restrictions on movement. Branding peaceful dissent as “terrorism”. For many readers, the scenario brings to mind China’s mass human rights violations against…
A display shows surveillance technology capable of analyzing body motion for specific actions like fighting, theft or fall during Security China 2018 in Beijing, China, Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2018.
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This week, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will give a keynote address at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute’s Sydney Dialogue, along with Prime Minister Scott Morrison. The dialogue is billed as a “world-first summit for emerging, critical…
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Respect Net Neutrality, Oppose Bill Mandating ‘Paid Prioritization’ for Content Producers

Joint Statement  November 11, 2021 Dear Mr. President Moon, We the undersigned thirty (30) human rights and freedom of expression organizations are concerned by your recent apparent support for an amendment to…
News

A Trial to Watch in Ecuador

Update: The Tribunal established on November 10 that the trial has been scheduled for January 19, 2022. An upcoming trial in Ecuador should put technologists working in the public interest on high alert.  Ola Bini, a Swedish programmer,…
Digital rights defender Ola Bini in Quito, Ecuador.
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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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Groups Condemn Use of NSO Group’s Pegasus Against Palestinians

(New York) – The following statement condemning the use of Pegasus spyware against six Palestinian human rights defenders was issued today by 10 human rights organizations, including Human Rights Watch: We, the undersigned human rights organizations,…
WhatsApp and Facebook messenger icons are seen on an iPhone in Manchester , Britain March 27, 2017.