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Joint Press release: Launch of INCLO Inter­na­tional Intelligence-Sharing Project

For imme­di­ate release: June 13, 2017


Today, mem­bers of the Inter­na­tional Net­work of Civil Lib­er­ties Orga­ni­za­tions (INCLO), includ­ing the Legal Resources Cen­tre, launches a global public-information cam­paign to uncover information-sharing agree­ments between intel­li­gence agen­cies.


These arrange­ments poten­tially allow intel­li­gence agen­cies to side­step domes­tic legal con­straints by fun­nelling sur­veil­lance data into a transna­tional intel­li­gence net­work. Eight of INCLO’s mem­ber orga­ni­za­tions have filed Free­dom of Infor­ma­tion (FOI) requests to their gov­ern­ments in Argentina, Canada, Hun­gary, Ire­land, Rus­sia, South Africa, the U.K., and the U.S. in an attempt to shine a light on this crit­i­cal seam of the global sur­veil­lance regime.


This is the first multi­na­tional coali­tion demand­ing that gov­ern­ments release any and all infor­ma­tion regard­ing agree­ments between intel­li­gence agen­cies, and pro­vide answers about a prac­tice largely shielded from account­abil­ity.


The Snow­den files and other mass intel­li­gence leaks have yielded cru­cial infor­ma­tion about the mechan­ics of domes­tic state sur­veil­lance. They also revealed more about intel­li­gence coop­er­a­tion through the Five Eyes, the post-war sur­veil­lance alliance estab­lished between the United States, the United King­dom, Canada, Aus­tralia and New Zealand.


How­ever, sur­veil­lance regimes now oper­ate on a global scale, extend­ing far beyond West­ern democ­ra­cies. We still know very lit­tle about the Five Eyes and other information-sharing rela­tion­ships between gov­ern­ments, includ­ing intel­li­gence alliances in the global south. By sub­mit­ting requests for infor­ma­tion in a geo­graph­i­cally diverse array of states, INCLO hopes to expose these undis­closed alliances and learn more about their exact prac­tice.  


This action builds from INCLO’s report “Sur­veil­lance and Democ­racy: Chill­ing Tales from Around the World,” released last year. Through per­sonal accounts of cit­i­zens tar­geted by their own gov­ern­ments, the report illu­mi­nates sur­veil­lance appa­ra­tuses in the Global North and Global South as well as vary­ing efforts for reform. Pub­lic push­back has achieved sig­nif­i­cant progress in restor­ing trans­parency and re-establishing pri­vacy norms in domes­tic con­texts. How­ever, information-sharing agree­ments remain a crit­i­cal blind spot, poten­tially pro­vid­ing intel­li­gence agen­cies a back­door to evade legal safe­guards and retain sur­veil­lance data. This ini­tia­tive is the first step to uncov­er­ing the extent of this threat.


As mem­ber orga­ni­za­tions receive responses, we will pub­lish any doc­u­ments released to INCLO’s web­site. INCLO also hopes to sup­port other orga­ni­za­tions seek­ing to file FOI requests in order to build capac­ity and encour­age fur­ther pub­lic inquiry.



You can read par­tic­i­pat­ing mem­bers’ FOI sub­mis­sion and track any infor­ma­tion released on INCLO’s web­site. For fur­ther ques­tions and media inquiries, please con­tact This email address is being pro­tected from spam­bots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..








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