21 countries organize at UN to curb NSA surveillance

Twenty-one countries are reportedly organizing at the United Nations to weaken the National Security Agency’s intelligence gathering activities.

According to a report at Foreign Policy, Brazil and Germany are leading a charge to restrain the NSA’s surveillance efforts.

The magazine obtained a draft copy of a resolution the two countries are circulating  to diplomats representing 19 other nations, which is posted online.  

“Emphasizing that illegal surveillance of private communications and the indiscriminate interception of personal data of citizens constitutes a highly intrusive act that violates the rights to freedom of expression and privacy and threatens the foundations of a democratic society,” the resolution says. 

While it doesn’t mention the NSA or U.S. explicitly, it’s clear these foreign governments are outraged over reports this week about the U.S. government spying on other countries. 

The Guardian newspaper, for example, reported Thursday the U.S. was monitoring the communications of 35 world leaders in 2006 during the Bush administration.

A report in French newspaper Le Monde also claimed the NSA had monitored communications of French citizens. German Chancellor Angela Merkel also believed the agency had tapped her cell phone. Germany newspaper Der Spiegel reported the U.S. had hacked the email account of former Mexican President Felipe Calderon. 

Over the last several months, other reports based on documents Edward Snowden provided have said the NSA has spied on Mexico, Britain and Brazil.

In response to Foreign Policy’s initial report about the U.N. document, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said, “We’ll of course review that when the text is available."

Psaki suggested the U.S. could be open to the measure. 

The resolution would provide U.N. nations with the power to oversee these intelligence gathering activities that might overstep another country’s sovereignty.

 

 

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