As technologies that facilitate State surveillance of communications advance, States are failing to ensure that laws, regulations, activities, powers, and authorities related to Communications Surveillance adhere to international human rights law and standards. This document attempts to clarify how international human rights law applies in the current digital environment, particularly in light of the increase in and changes to Communications Surveillance technologies and techniques. These principles can provide civil society groups, industry, States, and others with a framework to evaluate whether current or proposed surveillance laws and practices are consistent with human rights.

These principles are the outcome of a global consultation with civil society groups, industry, and international experts in Communications Surveillance law, policy, and technology.

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