Human Rights Council: Protect the right to privacy

09 March 2017

Human Rights Watch shares the special rapporteur’s concern that unchecked, mass surveillance continues to undermine the right to privacy and other human rights worldwide.

As the rapporteur notes, a number of states have actually expanded large scale and extremely intrusive surveillance through new laws.

The United Kingdom’s Investigatory Powers Act authorizes mass surveillance and hacking and requires internet companies to store a record of every website their users visit.

France has also passed several laws that enable sweeping surveillance with insufficient safeguards. Authorities can collect data in real time and will force service providers to install «black boxes» on their networks to indiscriminately search for «suspicious» patterns.

While the United States enacted modest reforms in 2015, the country’s surveillance activities continue to include the indiscriminate scanning of nearly all communications that flow over Internet infrastructure that links the US to the rest of the world. The US’ programs also allow the bulk collection of email address books or cell phone locations and intrude on the privacy of potentially millions of people who are not suspected of any wrongdoing.

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Photo: open sources

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