UN Advances Internet Privacy Resolution

by PETER JAMES SPIELMANN, Associated Press - ABCNews.com  |  published on December 2, 2013

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The U.N. General Assembly’s human rights committee on Tuesday unanimously adopted a resolution sponsored by Brazil and Germany to protect the right to privacy against unlawful surveillance, following months of reports about U.S. eavesdropping abroad.

The symbolic resolution, which seeks to extend personal privacy rights to all people, followed a series of disclosures of U.S. eavesdropping on foreign leaders, including Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, that surprised and angered allies.

Brazil’s Ambassador Antonio de Aguiar Patriota said the resolution “establishes for the first time that human rights should prevail irrespective of the medium, and therefore need to be protected online and offline.”

The resolution expresses deep concern at “the negative impact” that such surveillance, “in particular when carried out on a mass scale, may have on the exercise and enjoyment of human rights.”

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