Online event on Setting democratic global standards for intelligence agencies: the way forward  

9 November 2020 (2 to 3.30pm CET)

Video recording

Setting democratic global standards for intelligence agencies: the way forward

Seven years after the Snowden revelations brought to light the breadth of mass surveillance by public authorities, the digitisation of our societies and globalisation of data flows has continued at a rapid pace.

Social media, cloud computing, and other technical developments provide unprecedented opportunities to support individuals’ freedom of expression, cross-border business, and effective and open government. But these face significant future obstacles unless democratic nations can agree standards to effectively protect privacy and other human rights in the context of large-scale government surveillance.

The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has emphasised in several recent judgments the crucial importance of safeguards, enforceable rights and effective legal remedies when personal data are being processed for the purposes of public security, defence and state security. It ruled that the “Privacy Shield” negotiated between the EU and the USA failed to provide the necessary essentially equivalent protection, notably in respect of access to transferred data by intelligence services, and invalidated the agreement.

For years, influential voices have been calling for democratic and effective supervision of security and intelligence services worldwide to ensure better protection of the rights and fundamental freedoms of people.

The time has come to act.

What are the necessary steps to agree on global standards for democratic supervision of intelligence agencies? Which actors are involved, and at which level should this be arranged?

How can we bring together the numerous criteria developed by the Courts, including the European Court of Human Rights, the CJEU, and the US Supreme Court, on effective guarantees, accountability, and independent oversight of intelligence services, and discuss this issue at global level and find consensus on democratic standards?

Join some of the key voices in this burning discussion on these questions, and share your views on the means to better protect individuals in the context of international data flows.

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