An effort in the United Nations by Brazil and Germany to hold back government surveillance is quickly picking up steam, as the uproar over American eavesdropping grows.
The German and Brazilian delegations to the U.N. have opened talks with diplomats from 19 more countries to draft a General Resolution promoting the right of privacy on the Internet. Close American allies like France and Mexico — as well as rivals like Cuba and Venezuela — are all part of the effort.
The push marks the first major international effort to curb the National Security Agency’svast surveillance network. Its momentum is building. And it comes as concerns are growing within the U.S. intelligence community that the NSA may be, in effect, freelancing foreign policy by eavesdropping on leaders like Germany’s Angela Merkel.
The draft, a copy of which was obtained byThe Cable, calls on states “to respect and ensure the respect for the rights” to privacy, as enshrined in the 1976 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. It also calls on states “to take measures to put an end to violations of these rights” and to “review their procedures, practices and legislation regarding the extraterritorial surveillance of private communications and interception of personal data of citizens in foreign jurisdictions with a view towards upholding the right to privacy.”
The draft does not refer to a flurry of American spying revelations that have caused a political uproar around the world. But it was clear that the revelations provided the political momentum to trigger the move to the U.N.
his is huge. It just so clearly shows the growing anti-Americanism in governments abroad after the continuing National Security Agency surveillance and spying programs. The latest? The U.S. NSA obtained over 60 million phone calls in Spain.