Posts Tagged ‘secrecy’

  • 6 August 2014

    UN Committee Criticizes Japanese Secrecy Law

    As the Japanese government takes steps to implement its Secrecy Law, the United Nations Human Rights Committee has voiced its reservations about the controversial law. The committee said in a July 23 report covering many topics that it “is concerned that the recently adopted Act on the Protection of Specially Designated Secrets contains a vague […]

  • 13 June 2014

    Netherlands Takes Initiative to Monitor NATO Spending

      The Netherlands Court of Audit (NCA)— the official auditing body of the Dutch government— on June 10 created a new website to draw attention to the lack of financial transparency by the North Atlantic Treaty Alliance (NATO). “It is not clear what NATO entities achieve or whether they give value for money,” according to […]

  • 20 December 2013

    FOI Notes: Development, Surveillance, EU, China, Awards

    Development: The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA), Development Initiatives, CIVICUS and Beyond Access, IFEX and Article 19 issue a statement on why access to information must be a central pillar in the future of development and outline possible metrics to measure progress (found here). Surveillance: Some 110 civil society organizations issue a […]

  • 9 December 2013

    A Blow to Transparency; Japan Passes Secrecy Bill

    By Joel Rheuben Rheuben is an Australian lawyer resident in Japan. Japan’s “State Secrecy Bill”, previously reported on here, passed the upper house of Japan’s legislature on Dec. 6 to become law, even as large groups of protestors jostled with police outside. Public interest in the now-State Secrets Law had soared in recent weeks, helped […]

  • 2 December 2013

    Peru’s New Cybercrime Law Undermines Transparency Legislation

    By Milagros Salazar This article was first published by Inter Press Service (Spanish version). LIMA, Nov 27 2013 (IPS) – A new law against cybercrime that restricts the use of data and freedom of information in Peru clashes with earlier legislation, on transparency, which represented a major stride forward in citizen rights. The advances made […]

  • 2 December 2013

    UN Committee Urges Review of Surveillance Policies

    A United Nations committee Nov. 26 adopted a resolution on “The right to privacy in the digital age.” “Through this resolution, the General Assembly establishes, for the first time, that human rights should prevail irrespective of the medium and therefore need to be protected both offline and online,” Brazil’s representative said, according to a UN […]

  • 27 November 2013

    Diet Approves Secrecy Bill After Slight Changes

    Japan’s Diet Nov. 26 approved an internationally and domestically criticized “secrecy protection” law which imposes stiffer penalties on officials who leak information – and journalists who seek it. Premier Shinzo Abe said it was “urgent” to pass the law, which he said will allow Japan to receive national security information from the United States and […]

  • 26 November 2013

    Groups Urge OGP Leaders to Address Secret Surveillance

    More than 100 civil society organizations worldwide have expressed “grave concern” over secret government surveillance and urged national leaders to reform their national laws. The Nov. 25 letter was addressed to the new co-chairs of the Open Government Partnership. The effort was coordinated by the Worldwide Web Foundation The letter said: We join other civil […]

  • 22 November 2013

    UN Officials Express Concern About Japan Secrecy Bill

    The United Nations Special Rapporteurs on freedom of expression and on the right to health on Nov. 22 “expressed serious concern about the draft Special Secrets Bill, which establishes grounds and procedures for the classification of information held by the Japanese State,” according to a UN press release. They requested further information from the Japanese […]

  • 13 November 2013

    South African Assembly Passes Secrecy Bill

    The South African National Assembly Nov. 12 adopted a revised Protection of State Information Bill. The controversial bill was passed on a vote of 225 to 88. It will now go back to President Jacob Zuma for his signature. In September, Zuma referred the bill back to the assembly, citing two sections of the bill […]

  • 22 July 2013

    How Does Government Secrecy Change?

    By  Steven Aftergood Aftergood is Director of the Project on Government Secrecy at the Federation of American Scientists. This article first appeared on the FAS blog, Secrecy News, on July 22. Sometimes it seems that the national security classification system is static, monolithic and hopelessly inert.  But in fact it is relentlessly in motion, with […]

  • 12 June 2013

    Open Society, Others Issue Principles on Security, RTI

    The Open Society Justice Initiative and 21 international organizations have issued “Global Principles on National Security and the Right to Information.” The 50 principles include: Information should be kept secret only if its disclosure poses “a real and identifiable risk of significant harm to a legitimate national security interest” (Principle 3) Information concerning serious violations of international […]

  • 26 April 2013

    South African Assembly OKs Protection of Information Bill

    South Africa’s National Assembly April 25 approved a modified, but still contentious, Protection of State Information Bill. The bill, three years in the making, passed on a vote of 189-74, with one abstention. Opponents have long indicated that they will test its constitutionality in court and reiterated their intention to do so. “The fight is […]

  • 20 March 2013

    South African Secrecy Bill Faces Procedural Hurdle

    Opponents of the Protection of State Information Bill in South Africa are hoping to use a procedural complication to thwart action on the controversial bill, according to an article in The Independent. Opposition parties recently asserted that the legislation must revert to square one because it was incorrectly labeled as not affecting provincial governments. The […]

  • 8 March 2013

    Bahrain Moves to Protect Government Secrets

    Bahrain’s Council of Representatives passed a law March 5 to protect government secrets, according to a March 6 article by Mohammed al a’ali in the Gulf Daily News. The law will criminalize leaks and the unauthorized distribution of sensitive documents. “It was passed despite strong opposition from several MPs, including parliament legislative and legal affairs […]

  • 6 December 2012

    U.S. Board Issues Report on Declassifying Documents

    The U.S. Public Interest Declassification Board Dec. 6 issued 14 recommendations, including a proposal to move from three to two levels for classifying documents. The report “centers on the need for new policies for classifying information, new processes for declassifying information, and the imperative for using and integrating technology into these processes,” according to the announcement.  […]

  • 6 December 2012

    South Africa: What is the Protection of State Information Bill?

    By Nelago Amadhila Amadhila is a political analyst with the consulting firm Political Analysis South Africa, which published this synopsis on Dec. 6. Reprinted with permission. The ANC drove final amendments to the Protection of State Information Bill through the National Council of Provinces on Thursday 29 November 2012. The amended bill was adopted by […]

  • 30 November 2012

    South African Panel OKs Protection of Information Bill

    A committee of  South Africa’s lower chamber of Parliament Nov. 29 approved the committee report on the controversial protection of state information bill by a vote of 34-16. The action by the ad hoc committee of the National Council of Provinces came despite protests from opposition member and by protesters in the streets. The amended […]

  • 16 December 2011

    Indonesia Pledges to Consult on Controversial Secrecy Bill

    The Indonesia government plans to discuss a controversial state secrecy bill with its opponents, according to a report in The Jakarta Globe. Under the bill, the disclosure of classified material is punishable by prison terms of three-four years plus fines, depending on the level of classification. Critics say the definition of what constitutes a state […]

  • 29 July 2011

    South African Panel Renews Deliberations on Secrecy Bill

    Consideration of the controversial Protection of Information Bill (POIB) by a committee of the South African Parliament resumed this week with debate focused on a new definition of national security. The multi-day deliberations this week included an indication that the ruling African National Congress party will “at least consider proposals for extending protection to those […]