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

 


Signs Of Ebola Decline In Liberia Offer ‘Glimmer Of Hope’

Equipped with UNICEF-developed and Government-approved awareness materials, these girls go door-to-door in West Point, Monrovia, to educate their parents, family members and friends about Ebola and how it can be prevented. Photo: UNICEF/UNI171713/Griggers More>>

ALSO:

Allegations Of Misreporting By Joint Darfur Mission

Ban ‘Deeply Troubled’ by Findings of Review of Allegations of Misreporting by Joint Darfur Mission More>>

Status Quo Not Viable Option’ In Jerusalem

Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman briefs the Security Council at its meeting on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe More>>

ALSO:

  • ITUC - Israel’s Settlement Expansion is an Outrage
  • World News: No To TPP Trade-Offs

    No to TPP Trade-Offs, Say Public Health, Fair Trade Activists at Sydney TPP Ministers’ Meeting More>>

    ALSO:

  • AFTINET - Fair Trade Group Calls for Release of TPP Text
  • Al Jazeera Interpol Rejects Egypt Request For Red Notice On Journalist

    Interpol, the international organisation for police cooperation, has rejected a request from Egypt to issue one of its red notices against Ahmed Mansour, an Al Jazeera journalist. More>>

    UN-Backed Study: Fruit Flies To Prompt Better Pest Controls

    Bactrocera dorsalis is causing “incalculable damage to horticultural industries and food security” across a swathe of countries in Asia, Africa, the Pacific and parts of South America. Photo: IAEA/Viwat Wornoayporn More>>


    ‘The Only Way To Stop Ebola Is At Its Source’ – UN Chief

    Girls in the city of Voinjama look at a poster that displays information and illustrations about how to prevent the spread of Ebola. Photo: UNICEF/2014/Liberia/Jallanzo More>>

    ALSO:

  • Christian World Service - CWS appeals for help to Stop Ebola
  • UN: Multi-Billion Dollar Horn Of Africa Pledge

    UN’s Ban, Global Leaders Join Forces in Multi-Billion Dollar Horn of Africa Pledge More>>


     
     
     
     
     
    World
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news