UN votes for a resolution on cyber privacy

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Antonio Patriota

A resolution to protect the right to privacy against unlawful online surveillance has been unanimously approved by the General Assembly's human rights committee.

Tuesday's vote follows press reports of electronic surveillance by United States intelligence agencies on foreign governments and businesses, including those of Germany and Brazil which sponsored the resolution.

"The resolution states that the same rights that people have offline must be protected online," Ambassador Peter Wittig of Germany said.

Meanwhile, Ambassador Antonio Patriota, spoke on behalf of Brazil.

"The thrust of the resolution goes to the core of Brazil’s concern as stated by President Dilma Rousseff at the opening of the 68th General Assembly, and that is to consider possible human rights violations arising from domestic and extraterritorial surveillance on a mass scale, in particular of the right to privacy, which is a critical dimension of the right to freedom of opinion and expression and a fundamental tenet of democracy."

The United States also supported the resolution.

Alternate US Representative to the UN General Assembly, Elizabeth M. Cousens, said it was imperative that human rights defenders, activists and ordinary citizens worldwide use internet and online resources without fear of reprisals or inappropriate censorship.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration: 1’26″

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