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Welcome to the Official Schedule for RightsCon Toronto 2018. This year’s program, built by our global community, is our most ambitious one yet. Within the program, you will find 18 thematic tracks to help you navigate our 450+ sessions

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Last updated: Version 2.3 (Updated May 15, 2018).

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Friday, May 18 • 09:00 - 10:15
What we don’t know about government intelligence sharing – Perspectives from the Global North and South

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Intelligence agencies increasingly have a global reach when they intercept the undersea telecommunications cables that connect our world. Beyond jointly developing and deploying surveillance technology, agencies also share the intelligence they gather and store. While there have been landmark cases about (the lack of) rules purporting to protect the privacy and civil liberties of their own citizens, the rules permitting cooperation between intelligence agencies are less known to the public. This area is unclear and contains loopholes that sidestep domestic legal constraints.

The International Network of Civil Liberties Organizations (INCLO) is a network of 13 national human rights groups from the North and the South. We work together to advance fundamental rights and freedoms both domestically and internationally. In 2017, nine INCLO members filed Freedom of Information requests in their own countries. This was a coordinated attempt to shine a light on the shadowy agreements between national intelligence agencies and their international partners. This multinational attempt to demand accountability raised an interesting range of issues within and across coalition partners who operate in very different contexts. It opens up an opportunity to interrogate the barriers to citizens’ right to know on a global scale.

During this session, our panelists from India, Israel, Ireland, Canada and South Africa will share the challenges involved in engaging domestic governments on intelligence sharing practices. They will share any responses received thus far, and then open up audience discussion to interactively strategize potential steps to work towards state accountability in relation to intelligence surveillance and information sharing agreements.


Suzanne Legault

I am currently working as an international consultant, specializing in information rights and democracy. I am a board member of Canadian Journalists for Freedom of Expression. I am the former and 5th Information Commissioner of Canada, a former Deputy Commissioner of Competition... Read More →

avatar for Elizabeth Farries

Elizabeth Farries

Information Rights Program Manager, International Network of Civil Liberties Organizations (INCLO)
I'm a lawyer, information technology legal expert, and the project manager of information rights at INCLO, an international collective of 13 human rights organisations from the global south and north. I oversee a transnational program dedicated to achieving higher standards of personal... Read More →
avatar for Brenda McPhail

Brenda McPhail

Director, Privacy, Technology & Surveillance Project, Canadian Civil Liberties Association
Privacy advocacy. Social implications of new and emerging technologies. Laws protecting privacy. Lack of laws protecting privacy. Exciting legal challenges. Surveillance, especially face surveillance. National security (especially signals intelligence). Talk to me about any of these... Read More →
avatar for AVNER PINCHUK


Director of the Civil and Political Rights Unit, The Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI)
Avner Pinchuk, has been a senior attorney at ACRI since 2002. He received his bachelor's degree in Political Science and Psychology from the Tel Aviv University, and holds an LL.B. and an LL.M. in Society, Politics, and Law from the same university. Before joining ACRI he practiced... Read More →

Friday May 18, 2018 09:00 - 10:15 EDT