U.N. committee passes resolution on privacy in the digital age

By Matt Klinger

"The first major statement by the UN on privacy in 25 years" appeared last month when the General Assembly's committee on humanitarian issues unanimously approved a resolution on "the right to privacy in the digital age."  

Brazil and Germany, which recently learned the U.S. National Security Agency had intercepted the communications of their top leaders, sponsored the non-binding measure.  The resolution calls on member states to review their legislation and practices regarding communications surveillance with an eye toward upholding the right to privacy.  The resolution also calls for a U.N. report on the protection and promotion of privacy in the context of "domestic and extraterritorial surveillance . . . including on a mass scale."  

The committee's consensus approval indicates the resolution will easily pass in the General Assembly when it comes up for a vote this December.