Essays On Government Surveillance

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These issues should be consistently raised in bilateral meetings as well so the US and the UK are not let off the hook.

Experience has shown that the US and UK, though often unwilling to be at the vanguard in developing international norms, eventually conform their practices to principled rules to which other countries agree to be bound.

While the US asserts it will not use intelligence gathering to quash dissent or discriminate, governments have repeatedly used surveillance to these ends.

President Obama has welcomed a debate about modern surveillance, but talk of safeguards and reform in the US has led to little or no discernible change for global Internet users.

Indeed, these countries might not change course until their own citizens face comparable levels of surveillance by foreign powers.

In the meantime, other countries should keep surveillance and privacy on the human rights agenda at the UN and elsewhere.

There was broad recognition at the United Nations Human Rights Council that the same rights we enjoy offline must also apply online.

However, global trust in US and UK leadership on Internet freedom has evaporated ever since former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden began releasing evidence of mass surveillance by the NSA and its British counterpart, the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ).


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