Germany and Brazil ask UN to draft resolution on surveillance

Germany and Brazil have asked the UN General Assembly to adopt a draft resolution calling for the right to privacy in the digital age.  The draft calls for an end to excessive electronic surveillance, noting that the illegal collection of personal data “constitutes a highly intrusive act”.
Brazil and Germany have both been angered by allegations of large-scale US surveillance.
The allegations stem from revelations by US whistleblower Edward Snowden.

The draft resolution, which does not name individual countries, will be debated by a General Assembly committee focusing on human rights.
The draft calls on the 193-member assembly to declare that it is “deeply concerned at human rights violations and abuses that may result from the conduct of any surveillance of communications”.
This includes “extraterritorial surveillance of communications, their interception, as well as the collection of personal data, in particular massive surveillance, interception and data collection”.
The resolution, which will be voted on later this month, calls on all countries to protect the right to privacy guaranteed under international law.
While General Assembly resolutions are non-binding, they can carry significant moral and political weight if they win enough support.
The draft follows allegations that the US has been eavesdropping on foreign leaders, including Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, angering US allies in Europe and Asia.
The scale of the alleged US espionage has provoked international concern and calls for tighter supervision.
Asian countries have also protested at claims that Australia was involved in a US-led spy network, with Indonesia summoning the Australian ambassador to Jakarta.

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