Civil Society Organizations Demand More Transparency from Governments

Around 200 leading civil society organizations and individuals from around the globe have voiced their concern about mass surveillance of citizens by governments in and open letter to the OGP presidium. The signatories are criticising that these developments are a contradiction to the efforts for open and transparent governments.

The member states of the Open Government Partnership (OGP) are therefore called upon to include concrete measures in the areas of privacy, whistleblower protection and transparency of surveillance activities into their national action plans and to follow through with them consequently.

Helen Darbishire, director of Access Info Europe, says “A truly open government does not spy on its citizens, only authoritarian regimes do that. We urgently need a stronger protection of privacy and we need sufficient transparency in surveillance aspects. That’s the only way to reduce illegal activities.”

Germany, known for its critical stance in privacy and surveillance, could take a leading role within the OGP in anchoring the debate on these topics on an international level. The German membership, which a coalition agreement states should happen during this government’s term, should therefore happen soon to give these issues a stronger voice.

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