Human Rights

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The Grand Normalization of Mass Surveillance: ECtHR Grand Chamber Judgments in Big Brother Watch and Centrum för rättvisa

Yesterday the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights delivered its most important judgments on electronic mass surveillance (or bulk interception) post-Snowden: Big Brother Watch and Others v. the United Kingdom, nos. 58170/13 etc and Centrum för rättvisa v. Sweden, no. 35252/08. These follow on from, and largely affirm, the prior Chamber judgments, on which see more here and here. Other than all the mega armed conflict cases, this judgmental pair is as big a decision as one can get in Strasbourg, although CFR is very much the companion case to BBW. NGOs, including those who brought the UK claim, declared the judgments an “important win for privacy and freedom for everyone in the UK and beyond,” a “landmark victory“, a judgment that indeed “confirms definitively that the UK’s bulk interception practices were unlawful for decades.” But no. Not at all. That is not…

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The Facebook Oversight Board Made the Right Call on the Trump Suspension

The Facebook Oversight Board’s decision on the ‘indefinite suspension’ of Trump’s account has provoked a storm of commentary, akin to a landmark judgment of a national or international court. Much of that commentary is understandably focused on the bottom line: that Facebook was justified, at the time it made its decision, to suspend Trump’s account…

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Drowning Migrants in the Mediterranean and the ICCPR, Again

Last week 130 migrants perished off the coast of Libya, as their rubber boat capsized in the stormy Mediterranean. Some 750 migrants have died this year in trying to make the crossing. (See here for the IOM report, and here and here for the recent posts we had on this topic…

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Does Fukushima wastewater decision violate our environmental rights?

Japan’s recent decision to release more than one million tons of treated wastewater collected at the wrecked Fukushima Daiichi nuclear powerplant has aroused intense controversy both locally and internationally. Opposition and condemnations are expressed not only by local fishermen and fishing industries, but also strongly by its neighbouring countries, especially China and South Korea. A key…

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“Pushbacks” as Euphemism

Late in March, the UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR, declared that it identified “hundreds” of migrant pushbacks from Greece. These have allegedly occurred in the Aegean and in the Evros region – the Northern land border between Greece and Turkey. While Greece continues to deny these allegations, it has now become abundantly clear that this is mere gaslighting.

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