ORG joins dozens of civil society organisations in asking governments that participate in the Open Government Partnership to start curbing disproportionate mass surveillance.
The current wave of open government programmes puts a heavy emphasis on the use of digital technologies - websites and smartphones - to deliver on transparency and accountability. In this context, it is particularly troubling that as many of these governments drive democratic engagement online, they are simultaneously tracking and analysing the behaviour of whole populations.
The UK has just hosted the Open Government Partnership summit, where dozens of governments from all continents launched commitments to improve transparency, engagement and accountability. ORG coordinated a session on surveillance that generated a lot of interest. You can see the video here:
The British government has been leading calls for more open data to improve transparency and accountability. The UK even launched an Open Data Charter at this year's G8 summit. Yet the UK is also at the forefront of global surveillance through its close partnership with the US. This inconsistency is unsustainable.
The joint statements calls on OGP governments to:
We urge David Cameron to heed this call.
The full text of the statement is here.