UN human rights chief says Internet privacy as important as human rights
London – In light of the highly controversial mass surveillance programmes carried out by the US and UK spy agencies, United Nations human rights chief Navi Pillay has said that Internet privacy is as important as human rights.
Pillay compared the aggressive reaction to mass surveillance programmes of the US spy agencies with the collective response that helped defeat apartheid regime in South Africa.
According to the Guardian, Pillay has been asked by the UN to prepare a report on protection of the right to privacy, in the wake of the revelations made by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.
She said that combined and collective action by everybody can end serious violations of human rights and the issue of internet privacy breaches have implications for human rights and are in violation of traditional national protections.
The report said that the UN general assembly unanimously voted last week to adopt a resolution, introduced by Germany and Brazil, stating that the same rights that people have offline must also be protected online, including the right to privacy.
Following the leaks by Snowden, who is currently granted temporary asylum in Russia, the US ties with its allies have been soured, especially after allegations that global leaders have also been targeted in phone snooping.