UN expert urges states to work toward cyber surveillance treaty

Source: FMT News

As violations on online privacy increases, more needs to be done to enhance protection against surveillance -- pic taken from FMT News

As violations on online privacy increases, more needs to be done to enhance protection against cyber-surveillance — pic taken from FMT News

NEW YORK: The world needs an international treaty to protect people’s privacy from unfettered cybersurveillance, which is being pushed by populist politicians preying on fear of terrorism, according to a UN report debated on Wednesday.

The report, submitted to the UN Human Rights Council by the UN independent expert on privacy, Joe Cannataci, said traditional privacy safeguards such as rules on phone tapping were outdated in the digital age.

“It’s time to start reclaiming cyberspace from the menace of over-surveillance,” Cannataci told the Council.

With governments worldwide demanding data from firms such as Microsoft, Google, Facebook, Apple and Twitter, it did not make sense to rely entirely on US legal safeguards, and creating an “international warrant” for data access or surveillance would unify global standards, he said.

“What the world needs is not more state-sponsored shenanigans on the Internet but rational, civilized agreement about appropriate state behavior in cyberspace,” the report said. “This is not utopia. This is cold, stark reality.” Read more