International action days “Freedom not Fear” from 6 to 9 October 2017
Freedom not Fear is an annual meeting of civil society activists for human rights in Europe, which is taking place from 6 to 9 October 2017. Representatives of multiple NGOs are meeting in Brussels to jointly work for freedom in the digital world. At Freedom not Fear, activists and NGOs plan action and take action against increasing surveillance and other attacks on civil rights. This year’s motto is “We want to live in freedom, not in fear. Come and join us!”
Over the past years, Freedom no Fear was supported by numerous organizations, including political parties, professional associations, trade unions and freedom activists. As a matter of fact, it’s a coalition of more than 150 organizations with a common goal: freedom of speech in the digitalized world and free Internet without censorship. Privacy in society based on knowledge, not wiretapping. Free life, not life in fear.
Since 2008, Macedonia has been a part of this action through Metamorphosis Foundation for Internet and Society.
The respect of our professional and personal privacy is key part of our human dignity. Free and open society cannot exist without absolutely private sector and free communication.
Until recently, Macedonia was in continuous and deep political crisis, during which major protests and acts of violence against parliamentarians took place, and the public became familiar with evidence showing that the previous government has illegally intercepted the phone conversations of more than 20.000 people, including activists, journalists, judges, diplomats, opposition leaders and even members of the government itself.
Because of that, Metamorphosis Foundation for Internet and Society has reacted to institutions on several occasions. Not so long ago, alongside with Privacy International, we sent a letter to the President of the Government of Republic of Macedonia, the Ombudsman of the Republic of Macedonia, and the Committee for Supervising the Work of the Security and Counter Intelligence Directorate and the Intelligence Agency.
The letter points out our remarks regarding the “direct access” of agencies for security and counter-intelligence to telecommunication networks through which they receive digital content and data on communications, oftentimes without prior notice or being authorized by court and without the involvement and knowledge of the network operator.
Through this letter, the institutions of the systems were called to provide guaranties for protection of privacy and establish mechanisms for prevention of further abuses. Copies of the letter were sent to the Delegation of the EU and to DG Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations of the European Commission.