Global think tank calls for global digital privacy

The Diplomatic Council is calling for more transparency regarding government surveillance across the world.

The Diplomatic Council is calling for more transparency regarding government surveillance across the world.
The Diplomatic Council is calling for more transparency regarding government surveillance across the world.

After an open hearing earlier this month aimed at formulating a group stance, the Diplomatic Council, a United Nations-registered global think tank, called for more transparency when it comes to government surveillance across the world. 

Attorney Thomas Lapp, chairman of the Global Information Security Forum of the Diplomatic Council, proposed worldwide stipulations on any judge who approved interception measures. He called for judges to be required to document each interception approved and provide annual reports that provide details on the outcomes of surveillance, including whether the activities led to convictions.

“On the one hand we all strive to preserve a private zone, in which we are safe of bugging,” Lapp said in an announcement. “On the other hand, we well understand that the state has to carry out its obligations towards its citizens and hence must be entitled to wiretapping in order to uncover criminal activities in cases of reasonable suspicion.”

Lapp feels the stipulations would influence authorities to better examine eavesdropping requests while making the process more transparent to the public.

In addition, the Diplomatic Council is mulling global legislation to curb data collection by large internet corporations.

“There is an instant need for a global legislation to control the escalating data acquisitiveness of the big Internet corporations,” said Dr. Dorian Hartmuth, the Diplomatic Council's director of economic policy, said in the release.

Lapp contended that big companies circumvent the strict data protection laws of several countries.

“Corporations readily submit to the privacy laws of small countries allegedly due to the fact that they have only a few employees and thus possess a significantly lower capacity than would be necessary for seriously coping with this huge task,” Lapp said.

The group's pronouncements came in the wake of the appointment of Joseph Cannataci, the first Special Rapporteur on data protection of the United Nations.