World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


US: President Should End Sweeping Surveillance

Stance on Surveillance Reform Will Set Global Precedent

January 16, 2014

(New York) – The US government risks undermining important policy objectives unless it urgently reins in US electronic surveillance practices and stops violating the privacy rights of millions of people at home and abroad, Human Rights Watch said today. In a letter to President Barack Obama ahead of a much-anticipated speech on electronic surveillance that he will give on January 17, 2014, Human Rights Watch set out specific reforms that the president should swiftly adopt.

“This is a signature moment for Obama’s presidency,” said Kenneth Roth, executive director at Human Rights Watch. “He can either reinforce sweeping powers of intrusion that have yielded little advantage in the fight against terrorism but are producing a global backlash against US policies and companies. Or he can stand up to the security agencies and defend the right of ordinary people everywhere to privacy.”

Human Rights Watch enumerated key areas where the president can take immediate action, including ending bulk metadata collection, protecting the rights of foreigners abroad against unnecessary and disproportionate electronic surveillance, increasing the transparency of these surveillance programs, and ceasing US efforts to weaken technical standards.

The US government is uniquely positioned to monitor global communications, with most of the world’s Internet traffic moving through US territory or companies. With this extraordinary power comes heightened responsibility to uphold the internationally recognized right to privacy, which also underpins other important rights, like the right to freedom of expression and opinion. Roughly 150 billion emails crisscross the globe daily, and both commerce and the flow of information depend on a borderless Internet. Other countries will look closely at the rules that the United States establishes on these matters as they debate crucial questions about privacy and Internet freedom across the world, Human Rights Watch said.

“Virtually unchecked US electronic surveillance of foreigners abroad has already provoked outrage around the world,” Roth said. “Unless the president steps in to curb the practice, the US government will have a hard time credibly promoting online freedom.”

Though congressional action is needed to fully address concerns over existing programs, the administration could take initial action and support reform legislation. Many of the reforms that Human Rights Watch called for are also supported by a five-member review group appointed by President Obama, which recently issued a report on US surveillance practices.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

West Papua: “Lest We Forget”

AS Anzac approaches and Australians and New Zealanders remember those who fought and lost their lives on Anzac Day, it is hoped we will also remember the unfree people of the Pacific region and in particular those who are still suffering from human ... More>>

Iran: 81 Executions In One Week

Coincident with mass executions in the prisons of Ghezel-Hessar, Karaj and other cities, the anti-human regime of mullahs sent 16 other prisoners to the gallows in Mashhad and Birjand (northeastern Iran). Twelve of them were hanged collectively ... More>>

Al-Shabaab: Four Unicef Staff Killed In Somalia

Four UNICEF staff members have been killed in an attack on their vehicle in Garowe, Somalia. Four other UNICEF colleagues are in a serious condition. The IED (improvised explosive device) attack occurred when the staff were travelling from their guest ... More>>

UN: Suicide Attack In Jalalabad Condemned

NEW YORK/KABUL/GENEVA (18April 2015) – “I strongly condemn the brutal suicide attack that coincided with my visit to Jalalabad today,” said United Nations Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights Ivan Šimonović during his visit to Afghanistan. ... More>>

Save The Children: STC Urges EU Leaders To Act To Prevent More Mass Drownings

Save the Children Urges EU Leaders to Act to Prevent More Mass Drownings at Sea. More>>

ALSO:

Japan: Independent Experts Slam Japan’s New Whaling Plan

Independent experts slam Japan’s new whaling plan and declare no more whales need to be killed for Antarctic research More>>

Gaza Strip: Attacks In The Border Areas

Following disengagement from the Gaza Strip in September 2005, Israel unilaterally and illegally established a so-called “buffer zone”, an area prohibited to Palestinians along the land and sea borders of the Gaza Strip. The precise area designated by ... More>>

Australian Government: Iraq Deployment: Joint Press Conference, Canberra

Back in March, the Government announced that we were preparing a force for a Building Partner Capacity training mission in Iraq. I can inform you that today the Cabinet has decided to deploy that force. The deployment will start tomorrow and we expect ... More>>

UNHRC: UN Committee Against Torture To Review New Zealand

UN Committee against torture to review New Zealand, Congo, Romania, Luxembourg, Spain, Serbia, Colombia, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia More>>

UNHRC: Nigeria: One Year On, Call To Bring Back Abducted Children

Nigeria: One year on, UN and African experts call for decisive steps to bring back abducted children More>>

EU & US Let Iran Win Top Seat On UN Women’s Rights Board

EU & US Allowed Iran to Win Top Seat on UN Women’s Rights Board, Rights Group Says More>>

Peaceful Tree Planting Attacked By Zionist Settlers/soldiers

Peaceful tree planting attacked by zionist settlers and soldiers, two Palestinians hospitalised and a German activist arrested. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news