ACLU, Global Coalition Launch International Surveillance Campaign

April 20, 2005 12:00 am

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Asks Citizens and Groups Around World to Endorse Declaration That Mass Surveillance Is Not The Solution To Terrorism

NEW YORK — The American Civil Liberties Union joined a diverse coalition of civil liberties groups from around the world today in launching a new International Campaign Against Mass Surveillance (ICAMS), which calls on governments around the world to reject mass surveillance of citizens as an ineffective and undemocratic tool in the fight against terrorism.

“The ACLU is pleased to be joining with pro-civil liberties groups from around the world to demand an end to mass registration and surveillance,” said Barry Steinhardt, Director of the ACLU’s Technology and Liberty Project. “It is crucial that we spread the word and send the message: mass surveillance and registration are not the answers to the problem of terrorism and not a road that any nation should be heading down.”

Nearly 100 rights groups from around the world endorsed the campaign, including groups from Asia, Europe, Latin America, Canada and the United States. The goal is to build connections among concerned groups and citizens from around the globe and to make a firm statement of opposition to the growing adoption of a mass-surveillance approach to security.

“Surveillance is increasingly become a worldwide phenomenon, and that’s no coincidence,” said Steinhardt. “Governments — particularly the U.S. government — are increasingly turning to international institutions to rob us of our civil liberties. That means that international cooperation among groups and individuals has become more important than ever to protect liberty here at home.”

The launch of the international surveillance campaign comes a week after the ACLU announced formation of a “Policy Laundering Project,” which will also focus on monitoring and influencing the formation of policies in international forums that have the potential to affect freedom in America.

“The ACLU remains focused on its core mission of protecting civil liberties in America,” said Steinhardt. “But in a world where the government is increasingly turning to international institutions to rob us of our civil liberties, the ACLU must participate in those institutions to protect American liberties.”

Patterned in some respects after the international campaign to ban land mines, the surveillance campaign is asking groups, organizations, companies, and individuals from around the world to endorse the ICAMS using a new web site that was unveiled today,

The list of organizations that have endorsed the campaign so far is at

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