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Brazil and Germany, with UN support hit back at US cyber spying

Friday, December 20th 2013 - 06:54 UTC
Full article 29 comments
The two powerful ladies, Angela and Dilma are furious about US NSA spying into their countries and even their personal mobiles The two powerful ladies, Angela and Dilma are furious about US NSA spying into their countries and even their personal mobiles

UN General Assembly has adopted a resolution aimed at protecting the right to privacy of internet users. The resolution was introduced by Brazil and Germany after allegations that the US had been eavesdropping on foreign leaders, including Brazil's Dilma Rousseff and Germany's Angela Merkel.

 The claims stem from leaks by US intelligence fugitive Edward Snowden.

General Assembly resolutions are non-binding but they can carry significant moral and political weight. The resolution calls for all countries to guarantee privacy rights to users of the internet and other forms of electronic communications.

It affirms “that the same rights that people have offline must also be protected online”.

It also expresses concern at the harm that such scrutiny, including spying in foreign states and the mass collection of personal data, may have on human rights.

Though it does not mention any specific country, Brazil and Germany have been angered by details of US snooping leaked to media organisations by former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden.

One of the leaks claimed that the NSA had been bugging Mrs Merkel's mobile phone for years.

Rousseff also was angered by revelations that the NSA had hacked the computer network of Brazil's state-run oil company Petrobras to collect data on emails and telephone calls.

US Secretary of State John Kerry has acknowledged that in some cases US spying had gone too far. And a White House panel has recommended significant curbs on the NSA's electronic surveillance programmes.

Snowden, 30, fled to Russia in June after leaking details of far-reaching US telephone and internet espionage. He has temporary asylum, allowing him to live in Russia, until July 2014. He has requested asylum in Brazil offering to deliver much more information he apparently still has.

Top Comments

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  • Troneas

    heh. similar to the UK, the US does not take the UN seriously, so this will change nothing. The UN and its resolutions is only relevant when it suits their agenda (for over 50 years now the UN urges the UK to discuss the Malvinas sovereignty and this plea goes ignored). they will argue that their spying is conducted in the framework of NATO or some other interest aimed at protecting their democracy that the world is out to destroy. again, no different from the UK which finds excuses in resolutions pertaining to “self-determination” and applies its own distorted interpretation of the idea in contexts that suits them.

    Dec 20th, 2013 - 07:18 am 0
  • A.J.Rimmer

    remind me Troneas, who failed to turn up for a meeting with Hague and members of the FIG? Yet again your ignorance knows no bounds.

    What UN resolutions are you talking about?

    Dec 20th, 2013 - 07:40 am 0
  • Conqueror

    @1 Did you notice “General Assembly resolutions are non-binding”. Something that intelligent people have been trying to tell people like you for some time. “Note that argieland has 40 UN resolutions with which the UK is not complying”. Yeah, so? WE urge argieland to shut its mouth. Does it? The UN currently has 193 members. And 191 of them might be “against” the UK on the subject of the Falkland Islands. Do WE care? Most of those 191 members don't have 2 braincells to rub together. Even if they get together in 30-country groups. On the bright side, latam does have 2 braincells. I believe Chile has both of them. For the time being. Let's try a new “principle” where states that do not meet acceptable criteria are excluded from the UN. For instance, any state that ignores a UN Security Council resolution should be excluded for a period of 50 years. Any state that reneges on debt repayment agreements (including bonds) should be excluded for a period of 50 years from the date on which debts are repaid. Any state that breaches international law should be excluded for a period of 2 years per offence. Member states excluded for any if the reasons stated to have the equipment of their armed forces removed. “Law enforcement” agencies to be disarmed. Periods of exclusion to be served consecutively. Wouldn't that mean argieland being excluded for at least 100 years? How many times has argieland illegally intruded on the Falklands EEZ, attempted economic warfare, interfered with “innocent passage”? Must be good for another 700-800 years. Nearly forgot. “Excluded states” to be required to submit any proposed international agreements for scrutiny. UNSC with authority to refuse permission for agreements. Isolation. YES!! Let the world know who the pariahs and rogues are!

    Dec 20th, 2013 - 10:49 am 0
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