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Brazil, Germany present anti-spy resolution at UN

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Brazil and Germany have formally presented an anti-spying draft resolution to the UN General Assembly amid the US surveillance scandal.

On Thursday, the jointly sponsored Brazilian-German resolution was introduced to the UN General Assembly’s human rights committee.

“Today, there seem to be hardly any technical limitations for accessing, storing or combining personal data. But should everything that is technical feasible also be allowed? Where do we draw the line between legitimate security concerns and the individual right to privacy? And how do we ensure that human rights are effectively protected both offline and online?” German Ambassador Peter Witting asked, while presenting the resolution to the committee.

Moreover, Brazil’s Ambassador Antonio de Aguiar Patriota said, “In the absence of the right to privacy, there can be no true freedom of opinion and expression, and no effective democracy.”

The draft document calls for the right to privacy in the digital age.

This comes as German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff have both condemned the widespread spying by the US National Security Agency (NSA).

Merkel has demanded the United States to enter a “no-spying” agreement with Germany and France by the end of 2013 amid recent revelations that the NSA spied on the two countries.

The German chancellor has also stressed that alleged espionage against Berlin and Paris, which are considered among closest allies of the US, should be stopped.

On October 26, a report published by German weekly Der Spiegel revealed that Merkel’s cellphone had been listed by the NSA Special Collection Service (SCS) since 2002, and that her cellphone number was still listed in June 2013.

Last month, Rousseff spoke at the United Nations General Assembly, calling for international regulations on data privacy and limiting espionage programs targeting the Internet.

Rousseff’s appeal came after reports were published in September by Brazil’s Globo television network, which revealed that the NSA spied on the president’s emails, phone calls, and text messages.

Edward Snowden, a former CIA employee, leaked two top secret US government spying programs under which the NSA and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) are eavesdropping on millions of American and European phone records and the Internet data from major Internet companies such as Facebook, Yahoo, Google, Apple, and Microsoft.

The NSA scandal took even broader dimensions when Snowden revealed information about its espionage activities targeting friendly countries.


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