Increased Internet censorship and surveillance has been an emerging trend over the last decade. Since 2013’s leaks regarding online spying by various security agencies, the global dimensions and potential of ubiquitous surveillance have become evident to the global public. The IFLA FAIFE Committee has been actively working for many years to raise the issue of privacy and surveillance in a library context and now highlights some initiatives to support citizens’ rights.

In the first new video FAIFE Committee Member Paivikki Karhula interviews Icelandic MP Birgitta Jónsdóttir about the Icelandic Modern Media Initiative (IMMI) which advocates for a unique legislative approach to improve state of freedom of information. In the second video Ville Oksanen (Electronic Frontier Finland) is interviewed about the Finnish citizen initiative Lex Snowden which was founded to support whistleblowers.

Fight Back

The Day We Fight Back

Both these FAIFE videos are published on February 11th 2014, which a broad coalition of activist groups, companies, and online platforms has designated The Day We Fight Backan initiative which highlights the extent to which mass surveillance is carried out on citizens worldwide. In relation this, IFLA is a signatory of the International Principles on the Application of Human Rights to Communications Surveillance. The document spells out how existing human rights law applies to modern digital surveillance and gives civil society groups, industry,  lawmakers and observers a benchmark for measuring states' surveillance practices against long-established human rights standards. It contains 13 principles which have now been endorsed by over 360 organizations from over 70 countries, from Somalia to Sweden. For more information, see our October 2013 announcement.