New campaign for greater transparency around secretive intelligence sharing activities between governments

Privacy International, in partnership with 30+ national human rights organisations, has written to national intelligence oversight bodies in over 40 countries seeking information on the intelligence sharing activities of their governments. In Estonia, the letter was co-signed by Estonian Human Rights Centre and sent to the Security Authorities Oversight Select Committee of the Estonian Parliament, Chancellor of Justice and Estonian Data Protection Inspectorate.

Countries may use secret intelligence sharing arrangements to circumvent international and domestic rules on direct surveillance. These arrangements can also lead to the exchange of information that can facilitate human rights abuses, particularly in countries with poor human rights records or weak rule of law. Privacy International has developed an interactive map, where the responses of the authorities will be reflected.

Privacy International has also shared with the authorities a briefing on human rights implications of intelligence-sharing.

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It is important to protect everyone’s human rights, because it helps to keep stability and peace in the society. There are many challenges for protection of human rights in Estonia: intolerance has really come out of the closet. Bad things happen when good people are too passive, but together we can make a change.

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