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UN moves in the direction of personal privacy

One in the eye for surveillance
Fri Dec 20 2013, 13:20

THE UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY has unanimously approved a resolution that should preserve personal privacy in the digital age.

UN members voted on the "The right to privacy in the digital age," resolution this week. The votes, from 193 member states were unanimously in favour of the right to privacy.

Privacy group, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), welcomed the news, calling it a "small step for privacy" and a "giant leap against surveillance".

"The resolution, which was introduced by Brazil and Germany and sponsored by more than 50 member states, is aimed at upholding the right to privacy for everyone at a time when the United States and the United Kingdom have been conducting sweeping mass surveillance on billions of innocent individuals around the world from domestic soil," said the EFF.

"The resolution reaffirms a core principle of international human rights law: individuals should not be denied human rights simply because they live in another country from the one that is surveilling them. We hope the resolution will make it harder for the US and its Five Eyes allies to justify their mass surveillance activities by claiming that their human rights obligations stop at their own borders."

The EFF said it hopes that this means governments will no longer be able to argue that their "human rights obligations stop at their own borders".

The EFF and several non-governmental organisations have come up with 13 principles that are designed to preserve human rights in this data-driven society.

The first of these asks that security is not dumbed down in order to enable data-raiding. µ


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