Digital Rights Watch stands for Privacy, Democracy, Fairness & Freedom in a digital age.

Given how much of our lives take place online, we advocate for digital technology to be subject to regulation that is nuanced and offers robust protection of human rights. We believe that it is vital that the process of law making is public and accountable.

In order to uphold Australians’ right to democracy online, Digital Rights Watch:

  • Campaigns for stronger parliamentary and democratic oversight of domestic and international surveillance agencies.
  • Advocates for a properly resourced Office of the Australian Information Commissioner.
  • Lobbies for increased transparency and democratic rule-making in international trade agreements that affect intellectual property and digital rights.
  • Advocates for surveillance agencies to be brought under the ambit of Freedom Of Information legislation.
  • Campaigns for security agencies to report under Telecommunications Interception and Access reporting requirements

Regulating technology in the twenty-first century requires we have an approach to government and law-making that is modern and responsive. We need to have properly resourced oversight bodies that understand the direction technology is taking and can effectively advocate to protect the rights of citizens. We need to make use of the expertise of civil society and universities to make sure policies and laws about digital technology are up to date and informed by best practice.

We also need institutions and processes that are able to keep the public informed about how governments are using technology. Most obviously, this includes keeping a watchful eye over surveillance activities by executive bodies. But it also requires us to consider how other government negotiations around trade will have an affect on the digital lives of Australians. We want decision makers and regulators to engage with the community to get the balance right between freedom and security.

A free and open internet is the cornerstone of a modern approach to human rights.