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US Working To Kill UN Privacy Resolutions

Unknown Lamer posted about 8 months ago | from the only-criminals-need-privacy dept.

Privacy 197

schwit1 writes with a short excerpt from The Cable "The United States and its key intelligence allies are quietly working behind the scenes to kneecap a mounting movement in the United Nations to promote a universal human right to online privacy, according to diplomatic sources and an internal American government document obtained by The Cable. American representatives have made it clear that they won't tolerate such checks on their global surveillance network." A leaked memo containing U.S. suggestions for changes to the ICCPR includes gems like (referring to intercepting communications) "Move 'may threaten' from before 'the foundations of a democratic [society]...' to before 'freedom of expression.' We need to clarify that privacy violations could 'interfere with' freedom of expression and avoid the inaccurate suggestion that all privacy violations are violations of freedom of expression." The U.S. changes are pretty much directed at making dragnet surveillance of non-citizens technically legal.

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197 comments

Notice to all posters (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45522383)

You all know who cold fjord is and what his agenda is. So I suggest, we don't fall into his trap of getting into endless debates that don't achieve anything by ignoring his comments.

Re:Notice to all posters (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45523283)

He doesn't comment on things that can't be spun. Notice he never said a word on the NSA botnet story.

Cold Spinning Fjord (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45523627)

He doesn't comment on things that can't be spun.

Almost every single time that Cold Spinning Fjord submitted something and/or posted a comment he spun, spun, and spun some more.

I have no idea who pays his salary but spreading Bold Face Lies in Slashdot seems to have become his full time occupation.

They don't give a fuck (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45522415)

Wow, the US government really doesn't give a fuck. They're paranoid as shit that their little party will be over.

Re:They don't give a fuck (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45522955)

us is totalitarian in [very bad] disguise.

Re:They don't give a fuck (5, Insightful)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about 8 months ago | (#45523655)

us is totalitarian in [very bad] disguise

Au Contraire !!

There are billions of Homo Sapiens Sapiens in this world who still believe in the dog and pony shows sponsored by the United States of America, and all its lapdog allies, such as Britain, Canada, Singapore and Australia.

Since the Edward Snowden affair, has USA apologized to the many millions of people who were spied on by NSA and all its allies ?

Since the Edward Snowden affair, has USA admit their wrongdoings ?

Nope !

Instead, they countered with lies, deceits, and threats, designed specifically to show the world that THEY ARE STILL THE BOSS and the rest of the world must continue kowtow to them.

Re: They don't give a fuck (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45524105)

The terrorism card US is playing is mostly just a smokescreen. The real motive is corporate espionage and Business Intelligence $$$. CanÂt blame the US, this is exactly what the Chineez have been doing a long time.
The privacy in UN is mainly to secure European commercial interests.

Re:They don't give a fuck (5, Insightful)

AlphaWolf_HK (692722) | about 8 months ago | (#45523571)

As much as I know it pains the US to see privacy advocacy, I'm a bit dumbfounded as to why the UN would want it. Most of its members don't even like freedom of speech or freedom of religion, so why would they give a damn about privacy? The only thing I can think of is to kneecap the competitive advantage that the US economy has in the tech sector, which by its nature is very anti-privacy, though more as a result of the way it functions than any interest in spying on you.

The EU is already red handed guilty of this because they raise a huge stink over it and want to push laws trying to bring more business to their domestic tech services, even though their governments often do worse things (Or would do worse things if they had the capability. Which they mainly don't due to a lack of jurisdiction; part of the reason why they need to have more of these services run domestically.)

Re:They don't give a fuck (1)

dave420 (699308) | about 8 months ago | (#45523899)

Worse things? No evidence for that. Would do worse things? No evidence for that. Try again.

Good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45522447)

Good. The sooner the UN is thoroughly dominated by somebody, the sooner everybody will realize that one world government is tyranny.

Re:Good (0)

gagol (583737) | about 8 months ago | (#45522969)

The de-facto world government is the US right now. I am sure you would enjoy being "liberated" with carper bombing...

Forget the carpet bombings ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45523747)

I am sure you would enjoy being "liberated" with carper bombing...

... it's astroturfing from Cold Fjord that Slashdot is suffering from

This week we can give thanks (5, Insightful)

frovingslosh (582462) | about 8 months ago | (#45523009)

Let us give thanks that the United States is going to protect us from those dirty third world countries that want to impose basic human rights of privacy on us.

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Re:This week we can give thanks (2)

jd (1658) | about 8 months ago | (#45523077)

For other things to be thankful for, The Guardian has an excellent review of a documentary + book on the death squads the US military and intelligence run. For example, I'm thankful there are attempts to colonize Mars. I have better odds of a life away from such idiots, if I'm on a civilized world and they're stuck on Earth.

Re:This week we can give thanks (4, Interesting)

EdIII (1114411) | about 8 months ago | (#45523617)

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause , supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized .

Their logic makes the Constitution nothing more than tissue paper.

- Unreasonable - Their goal of mass surveillance is most certainly guided by good sense, meaning practical judgement, and is only used in the best interests of the citizenry. Have to fight those tewwoists. Especially, the domestic ones.

- Probable cause, limitation of scope of search - With the technology available today, and the attainment of mass surveillance, probable cause is instantly established. Moreover, the scope of the search is intelligently limited at all times by the technology itself. It decides what needs the most surveillance and active involvement by those in power.

- Did it really happen? - If the citizenry does not perceive the surveillance, does it exist? Of course not. Don't be silly. Nothing exists unless you believe in it, and this is concrete proof of "Out of sight, out of mind". Privacy is what we tell them it is.

Those three points are pretty much the entire basis and rationale for the people that support the violation of the Constitution. That's being extremely kind and assuming nothing but benevolent intent, and the fact, they even give one fuck about the Constitution, the very concepts of freedom, and the idea of a government for the people and by the people

It's tragically sad at this point that the US has fallen so very far from its ideals. Give it a little bit longer on this path and quite frankly the US of 100 years ago would invade *us* to export democracy along with other countries too.

When will the UN grow some balls and levy real sanctions against the US till it cuts their shit out?

Re:This week we can give thanks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45524061)

Uh, that's the U.S. constitution you cite. What has that to do with the organized crime cartel running the country and raking in a premium of protection money (responsible for a large part of the country's bankruptcy) for financing their blackmail department NSA and their crime and corruption department DOJ run by the serial perjurer and iilegal arms trafficker Eric Holder?

Re:Good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45523533)

Good. The sooner the UN is thoroughly dominated by somebody, the sooner everybody will realize that one world government is tyranny.

Funny how you bitch about a "one world government" being a tyranny, but are advocating in favor of ordering sovereign nations to do what you want.

just words on paper (4, Insightful)

Gravis Zero (934156) | about 8 months ago | (#45522471)

even if the UN passes something to assert "universal human right to online privacy", we know that the ones doing the snooping are still going to keep snooping with no regard for the law.

Land of the free to violate our own constitution. :(

Re:just words on paper (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45522663)

Maybe the UN will sanction us with their army. Oh wait, they don't have an army. I guess that means they need to shut the fuck up.

--DC

Re:just words on paper (1)

Redmancometh (2676319) | about 8 months ago | (#45523333)

If I had mod points I'd give it to my first AC ever. This is a quote from a particularly hilarious chappelle's show. A decade later and still relevent as well.

Re:just words on paper (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45523869)

It's ironic that - in a thread about the fundamental right to online privacy - you are implicitly criticising someone who wishes to post anonymously.

Re:just words on paper (1)

runeghost (2509522) | about 8 months ago | (#45522719)

More like Land of the Corporate Tools :-(

So what's your plan? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45522837)

People constantly bitch about how their government is failing them, but how many of you think you can do more than just bitch? Because if that's all you can do, then what's the point of doing even that?

Join the Metagovernment project, and you actually can make a freer, better world using the principles of open source. Think not? Okay, what's your plan? If you don't have a better idea, at least spend a few minutes learning about the plan to build an alternate form of governance [metagovernment.org] that can push aside the broken status quo.

We really do have a plan, and no, it really is not some stupid form of mob rule. Check it out, and learn why you can do more [metagovernment.org] than just bitch about how screwed we all are.

Re:So what's your plan? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45522865)

It wouldn't be slashdot if it weren't all about whining about how fucked we all are.

Re:So what's your plan? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45522989)

after reading the front page of the link, I'm even more confused. what exactly is it you're offering? A piece of software or a form of governance?

Re:So what's your plan? (1)

jd (1658) | about 8 months ago | (#45523187)

I do have a plan, a plan built on solid foundations (although I must admit some of the support beams need work). A plan I have posted a few times, so am unsure why I should bother now. It is also a plan that would require a lot of people joining in, which is never going to happen these days - experimental governance was all the rage in the 1600s and 1800s, but people are too comfortable now. Better the devil you know, after all.

Nonetheless, if it could be started, I can absolutely guarantee it would give superior results to your approach.

Close but not quite (2)

jd (1658) | about 8 months ago | (#45523155)

The US has been expelled from UN bodies in the past, due to violations of international law. Although 95% symbolic, it hurts them in things like trade negotiations and bilateral agreements. In turn, that makes equally abusive but unsanctioned nations more attractive to business. That, in turn, hurts donations to politicians and tax revenues. Not necessarily by a lot, but name a politician who wants to spend less.

(Note: Tea Partiers and Libertarians want other people to spend less. They, themselves, are by far the worst of the pork barrel spenders.)

Re:Close but not quite (0)

BlueStrat (756137) | about 8 months ago | (#45523399)

(Note: Tea Partiers and Libertarians want other people to spend less. They, themselves, are by far the worst of the pork barrel spenders.)

What!? You're joking, right? Maybe my sarcasm detector needs calibration.

Now, the "establishment" Republicans, people like John Boehner, McCain, Graham, the "moderate" and RINO Republicans, they're nearly as Progressive as the Progressive Democrats and have been the ones in control of the Republican party and together with Progressive Democrats have controlled both houses of Congress and consistently expanded the size, scope, budget, and power of the Federal government for decades. That's why nothing that really matters changes very often.

Both the establishment/Progressive (R)s and the (D)s have been excoriating the TEA party-associated members and those who speak of libertarianism (not the R. Paul brand of crazy, the concept of "libertarian") and sabotaging them at every turn because they keep proposing things that cut spending, government growth, and expansion of government power/loss of freedom (having more of one means having less of the other).

The TEA Party-supporting and libertarian-leaning are the only ones proposing any meaningful reductions in spending (including pork). Of course, one can call anything they want "pork" if they already have their politically-biased conclusions beforehand, and are simply hunting for something to back up their narrow beliefs.

The US basically has a one-Party system, with TEA Party and others who believe in less government, less spending, and more freedom, trying to gain a foothold.

There's one simple principle that people should never forget.

More government = less freedom.

How much less-free do *you* want to be today?

Strat

Re:Close but not quite (1, Offtopic)

AlphaWolf_HK (692722) | about 8 months ago | (#45523591)

This.

Though progressives often have these strange justifications for more government regulation. I recall once on slashdot talking up how stupid it is that in Oregon you can't pump your own gas due to regulation. Sure enough some derp comes along talking about how he'd prefer it that way for safety reasons, never mind that actually driving a car is a *lot* more dangerous than simply putting gas in it.

Re:Close but not quite (1)

Redmancometh (2676319) | about 8 months ago | (#45523629)

"The tea partiers who have twisted the libertarian philosophy into an unrecognizable monster" FTFY

The pure libertarian philosophy is simply that citizens should have unlimited autonomy so long as it doesn't infringe upon the autinomy of others

Near slavery via economic means doesn't pass that litmus test

Unfortunately there isn't exactly a brightline to decide when this occurs...but the tea party have perverted it either way.

Re:Close but not quite (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 8 months ago | (#45524127)

And yet you would instead vote for those who go far beyond what you define as "perversion"?? You are bothered by near slavery via economic means and yet vote for those most in favor of it, or at least not those who want no part of such a thing.

The Tea Party is about smaller government spending less. The only perversion is twisting that to mean a greater degree of economic slavery!

If you don't like economic slavery you too had better start coordinating with the Tea Party, or forever hold your peace.

Re:just words on paper (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45523211)

It is really a shame that the human race is not yet advanced enough for proper anarchy, nor will it be in our lifetimes.

"SOME writers have so confounded society with government, as to leave little or no distinction between them; whereas they are not only different, but have different origins. Society is produced by our wants, and government by our wickedness; the former promotes our happiness POSITIVELY by uniting our affections, the latter NEGATIVELY by restraining our vices. The one encourages intercourse, the other creates distinctions. The first is a patron, the last a punisher.

Society in every state is a blessing, but Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one: for when we suffer, or are exposed to the same miseries BY A GOVERNMENT, which we might expect in a country WITHOUT GOVERNMENT, our calamity is heightened by reflecting that we furnish the means by which we suffer. Government, like dress, is the badge of lost innocence; the palaces of kings are built upon the ruins of the bowers of paradise. For were the impulses of conscience clear, uniform and irresistibly obeyed, man would need no other lawgiver; but that not being the case, he finds it necessary to surrender up a part of his property to furnish means for the protection of the rest; and this he is induced to do by the same prudence which in every other case advises him, out of two evils to choose the least. Wherefore, security being the true design and end of government, it unanswerably follows that whatever form thereof appears most likely to ensure it to us, with the least expense and greatest benefit, is preferable to all others." Thomas Paine Common Sense [ushistory.org]

Re:just words on paper (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | about 8 months ago | (#45523219)

The UN's "laws" have no weight and mean nothing. What do they have to do with the US Constitution? They're totally separate entities.

Moreover only conservatives worship the Constitution. You sound like one of them.

It's a great start! (5, Insightful)

jopsen (885607) | about 8 months ago | (#45523257)

even if the UN passes something to assert "universal human right to online privacy", we know that the ones doing the snooping are still going to keep snooping with no regard for the law.

Sure, UN laws aren't trivial to enforce... And yes, it's hard to say to what extend a US court will acknowledge treaties signed by the US.
And hey, the US maybe not even choose to sign such a treaty.

But highlighting the problem, and making in bluntly obvious that the US is spying on people to an extend Stasi could onl y dreams of is a good start. Nothing ever changes over night, NSA wasn't built in a day, and it'll take more than day to shut it down.

But when to US makes moves like this, is bluntly obvious to the rest of the world that going forward internet cables needs to be routed around the US. That's not going to happen over night either, if ever...

Re:just words on paper (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45523851)

This is the same UN with member countries that also violate their own citizens rights online as well.

The UN has become mostly a club of criminals intent on browbeating the US, not the other way around.

I have an idea! (4, Funny)

Roger Wilcox (776904) | about 8 months ago | (#45522473)

I'll spy on your citizens if you spy on mine!

Re:I have an idea! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45523007)

Lets designate a world wide "Edward Snowden Day. How about June 21, his birthday.
The man at least deserves something for alerting the world to the depth of " It's gonna get worse folks".

Re:I have an idea! (2)

jd (1658) | about 8 months ago | (#45523225)

June 4th would be symbolically better, and it would piss off those responsible for a date being needed. Which just makes that day even better. Or we could combine it with veteran's day, as I imagine the veterans are a little unhappy at winning the battles but losing the war. Hey, if you fight for freedom and then have none, you lost.

Re:I have an idea! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45523387)

How about the 5th of July? It's also symbolically better, and it'll be easier to get ahold of fireworks for more people.

What's the point of a resolution (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 8 months ago | (#45522475)

without general capitulation...

Dear NSA: (2)

pla (258480) | about 8 months ago | (#45522493)

We have more of us than you have of you.

Forget that at your mortal peril.

And yeah, go ahead and track that. You already have a file on me, add yet another footnote to it.

Re:Dear NSA: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45522535)

NSA here. I'm dumping the files of you and the others who pretend online their words are anything but empty threats:

Harmless.

Re:Dear NSA: (5, Insightful)

ultranova (717540) | about 8 months ago | (#45522567)

We have more of us than you have of you.

There is no "us" if the people can't communicate. That's the real reason for surveillance, always has been and always will be: to stamp out any effective resistance before it begins. And that's also why the ability to communicate secretly is absolutely vital to keep tyranny from rising its ugly head.

Well, we all know which side of power vs. freedom America has cast its lot with...

Re:Dear NSA: (-1, Flamebait)

Nyder (754090) | about 8 months ago | (#45522903)

We have more of us than you have of you.

There is no "us" if the people can't communicate. ...

hmm, i wonder how we manage to have a revolution back in the 1700's since we didn't have telephones or the internet.

fucking idiot.

Re:Dear NSA: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45522953)

Because you didn't have telephones or the internet?

fucking idiot.

Re:Dear NSA: (1)

BringsApples (3418089) | about 8 months ago | (#45523013)

Communication doesn't require internet or telephones. But you can bet that without some form of communication, you will not be able to win a war, much less know when the war is has been won.

Re:Dear NSA: (0)

Nyder (754090) | about 8 months ago | (#45523229)

Communication doesn't require internet or telephones. But you can bet that without some form of communication, you will not be able to win a war, much less know when the war is has been won.

Yes, because somehow we lost our ability to talk, or to write down message on paper.

Re:Dear NSA: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45523937)

Communication doesn't require internet or telephones. But you can bet that without some form of communication, you will not be able to win a war, much less know when the war is has been won.

Yes, because somehow we lost our ability to talk, or to write down message on paper.

Fighting from a technological disadvantage is a major problem.

The most important part of warfare is logistics, rapid communication is necessary to keep that efficient.

Re:Dear NSA: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45523171)

... didn't have telephones or the internet.

The only person who needs telephones or internet is you. Great strawman, but the word used was 'communication'. That would be mail, telegraph, smoke signals, or sending a servant round to get an immediate reply.

Fucking idiot.

Re:Dear NSA: (0)

Nyder (754090) | about 8 months ago | (#45523241)

... didn't have telephones or the internet.

The only person who needs telephones or internet is you. Great strawman, but the word used was 'communication'. That would be mail, telegraph, smoke signals, or sending a servant round to get an immediate reply.

Fucking idiot.

I understand you are so stupid you can't log in, but le tme clue you. The NSA can't stop me from talking to someone, or passing them a note. They can't spy on that. What can they spy on? The internet & telephones. So who is the idiot?

Re:Dear NSA: (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45523915)

Different AC here.

Ultranova wrote:

There is no "us" if the people can't communicate. That's the real reason for surveillance, always has been and always will be: to stamp out any effective resistance before it begins. And that's also why the ability to communicate secretly is absolutely vital to keep tyranny from rising its ugly head.

Well, we all know which side of power vs. freedom America has cast its lot with...

After some logical fallacies, Nyder later wrote, to an AC:

I understand you are so stupid you can't log in, but le tme clue you. The NSA can't stop me from talking to someone, or passing them a note. They can't spy on that. What can they spy on? The internet & telephones. So who is the idiot?

I'm afraid, Nyder, that I must side with the first AC. You are being "the idiot." Here's why:

1) Your argument against ultranova was weak and potentially derailed a more interesting discussion.

2) Your argument against the first AC is also weak. Calling someone "so stupid they can't log in" in a thread about the fundamental right to online privacy, is, well, pretty stupid in and of itself.

3) You're a good demonstration, yourself, that logging in doesn't improve the quality of discourse.

And too indulge in a little pettiness of my own: Perhaps you're just too stupid to log out?

Re:Dear NSA: (4, Insightful)

FatLittleMonkey (1341387) | about 8 months ago | (#45523311)

i wonder how we manage to have a revolution back in the 1700's since we didn't have telephones or the internet.

There was also no system where horses and wagons had to display numbers, and those numbers could be read by automatic systems on every major trail and on most Sheriff's horses, and which were stored forever by the British administrators for later data-mining. There was no system where long-distance commercial carriages required travellers to show photo-ID, and which were stored in a database, which could also be reported to the British administrators based on a secret warrant. There was also no system which images and stored the address details of every single piece of territorial mail.

The lack of technology [kieranhealy.org] in the 1700's cut both ways.

There was, however, the unlimited legal power of British Regulars to stop and search anyone, for any reason. Which was why the US founders included a clearly worded right of privacy/security as part of the US Constitution to prevent that situation from ever recurring. So at least you have that advantage. Right? Right?

Re:Dear NSA: (4, Insightful)

nomadic (141991) | about 8 months ago | (#45522707)

Every tyranny is exercised by the few over the many. Your numbers don't mean much.

Re:Dear NSA: (2)

citizenr (871508) | about 8 months ago | (#45522885)

We have more of us than you have of you.

most of "us" are sheeple, the rest can be easily dealt with if necessary.
look up Night of the Long Knives

Re:Dear NSA: (1)

gagol (583737) | about 8 months ago | (#45522987)

How many people from the land of the BRAVE is willing to challenge this authority? Yeah, that's what I thought.

Ge tit right (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45523335)

Land of the free.

Home of the brave.

U. S. is out of control!!! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45522499)

I read this, but I cannot believe it. When did we give them so much power to divest us of every single right we are supposed to have?

Re:U. S. is out of control!!! (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45522529)

When we let them have more guns than we do.

Re:U. S. is out of control!!! (5, Insightful)

ATMAvatar (648864) | about 8 months ago | (#45522923)

It's difficult to pin down an exact date.

Re:U. S. is out of control!!! (0)

gagol (583737) | about 8 months ago | (#45523003)

It could be when TV started its début... and politics became a popularity contest between candidates chosen by the rich elite.

Why Bother (3, Interesting)

rtb61 (674572) | about 8 months ago | (#45522507)

I cannot fathom why the US would bother. It should already be fully aware that it is breaking numerous computer crime laws across the globe. All that is happening now is many other countries are now paying much more attention to computer security and will be seeking to detect and prosecute computer crimes already covered by existing laws within those countries, whether committed by the US government or by any other governments, it is going to become next great spy vs spy game. All the United Nations will do is stand up and vote to say, it's naughty please don't do it, no legal ramifications, no question of sanctions, nothing except the public bruising of US political ego. The act of trying to block it, in fact is a subtle diplomatic trap into which the US has fallen and which makes it look far worse than ignoring other countries laws and acting criminally upon a global basis. It is being made to look like it is blatantly, publicly trying to steal the right of privacy for every person on the planet and all their future descendants. It is going to fail, too many countries will have fun thumbing their nose at the US and making a fools out of US diplomatic fools and seriously guys give about the bullshit double speak, it's closed loop bullshit, nobody but you and your own PR agencies believes that crap. It was a trap and the US diplomatic corps ignorantly skipped right into, smelling their own bullshit as the fragrance of roses.

Re:Why Bother (5, Insightful)

s.petry (762400) | about 8 months ago | (#45522751)

It is an illusion that all these other countries are "different" than the US. Citizens of the UK, Germany, France, etc.. have all found out that the US is spying on them, with full cooperation of their own agencies and corporations. What is changed and what is different after that revelation? Nothing!

They are still doing the same things, even if Merkel said "please stop spying on 'me'".

People want to believe that things are the same today in politics as they were 40 years ago, they are not. They want to believe that their Government controls their own country, but that is no longer the truth. Sure, the local governments control some things, but the economies are all from the central banks. The same owners of the central bank in the US own the banks in the Western world.

The US is playing fall guy for the surveillance, sure. But the rest of the West benefits from the surveillance as much as the US. It's control, and they want more of it.

People were warning us about this New World Order thing back in the 50s and 60s. The media quickly labelled them "crazy conspiracy theorists" and people fell for the ruse. People today still don't want to believe it. They claim that these are 'political mistakes' or that they do it for the money. Mistakes? With hundreds of people analyzing the situation, none of them are below average IQ, and every decision they happen to make is a mistake? To believe that, is a mistake.

Re:Why Bother (1)

AHuxley (892839) | about 8 months ago | (#45523109)

The US could have passed this and if ever asked just told the press any hardware/software was for "police" cooperation, a military "sale" or joint exercise or the US been "invited" in for telco upgrades.
The press optics of this is strange, the US always seemed to play the UN a lot better.

I call BS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45522515)

They have no proof, and we know Obama wouldn't do this. If they have no evidence, then why not call them out as liars?

Cyclic history (3, Insightful)

gmuslera (3436) | about 8 months ago | (#45522531)

Lets take away "that" basic human right, it don't matter. In a few years, other rights would be excepted too (i.e. torture, how can be bad something as fun as waterboarding?), and if the progression continues they will be back to import cheap workforce from Africa in no time. We seen this kind of progressions [wikipedia.org] becoming very popular lately.

What can the UN actually do? (2)

BringsApples (3418089) | about 8 months ago | (#45522585)

If "the Americans" don't follow the rules that the UN comes up with, what would the UN do? Seriously, I'm not trolling here, I'm seriously interested in hearing what the UN would/could do. Sanction the US? Military action?

Re:What can the UN actually do? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45522637)

When Kerry signed the Small Arms treaty, it was innocuous in itself. However, it did have a clause which allows UN troops to operate on US soil independent of the Army and police forces.

So, the UN is free to operate, spy, arrest, even kill anyone in the US if they so desire. With this privilege given, the US probably is free to do what it wants.

Yes, this is usually a topic for talk shows, but it is something that people should be concerned about... because in the near future, one nation's laws can be enforced in another.

Re:What can the UN actually do? (1)

nomadic (141991) | about 8 months ago | (#45522723)

No, it doesn't have that clause, and the UN is not free to operate, spy, arrest, or even kill anyone in the US. Just completely false.

Re:What can the UN actually do? (5, Informative)

sg_oneill (159032) | about 8 months ago | (#45522765)

When Kerry signed the Small Arms treaty, it was innocuous in itself. However, it did have a clause which allows UN troops to operate on US soil independent of the Army and police forces.

No it doesn't. UN troops can't deploy *anywhere* without the Security councils approval, and *any* decision of the security council can be vetoed by the united states. It literally has no power to deploy anywhere without the unanimous approval of the United States, China, Russia, France and England. If any one of those countries say "No", it can not happen.

The UN is just a group of representitives from each country. It has no powers beyond what those countries wish it to have. its not a government, and it has very limited powers beyond what its members give it. If it ever deployed forces into the united states to abduct or kill someone, chances are those forces would be arrested, imprisoned and perhaps even executed as a hostile foreign power. And it would not be the UN, either. That power has never existed for the UN and the US is sufficiently stand-offish with the body that it would never agree to it. And without the agreement of the US, it will never happen.

Re:What can the UN actually do? (5, Informative)

Luckyo (1726890) | about 8 months ago | (#45522665)

UN isn't a governing body. It's a collection of diplomats from around the globe.

What could happen is US getting pushed out of certain diplomatic circles, causing decline in its ability to leverage its influence over issues important to it. The loss is not the type that is easily evident to average citizen - but consequences of that loss usually are, as they can be for example about a US company not getting deals it needs to get or losing bids or even getting its property nationalized abroad, things like that. Diplomatic pressure is one of the main ways of ensuring that your national interests are taken into account abroad. Losing ability to apply it can be crippling in certain scenarios, or force you to take a much less efficient, and less functional means of accomplishing the same task.

Then there's the general aspect of know-who. A lot of things are done on upper level though people who know people. When you're cut out of certain aspects of diplomacy, this particular resource dwindles fast.

Hans Brix said it best... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45522669)

The UN will be very angry with you... and they will write the U.S. a letter, telling them how angry they are.

Re:What can the UN actually do? (1)

Mister Liberty (769145) | about 8 months ago | (#45522817)

'If'? The US fucked the UN before.

Listen, if these officials care so much, they're in a better
position to answer you and you know it.
And in effect that /does/ make it seem like you're trolling
here. Fine with me.

Re:What can the UN actually do? (1)

AHuxley (892839) | about 8 months ago | (#45523149)

Its more like a convention on torture, arms deals, sanctions, human rights.
Not much the UN can do, but most nations like to be 'seen' as voting together in positive ways.

Add To That: U.N. Funding (2, Informative)

theshowmecanuck (703852) | about 8 months ago | (#45523449)

The United States provides 22% of the United Nations funding (more than double the next highest contributor). So if they don't get what they want, they could probably fuck the UN by stopping payment. They have a lot of leverage to get what they want anyway.

Re:What can the UN actually do? (5, Insightful)

FatLittleMonkey (1341387) | about 8 months ago | (#45523489)

It allows treaty nations to seek redress in international courts. So it allows signatory nations to punish and/or restrict US companies (Google/Microsoft/etc) for cooperating with routine NSA/CIA monitoring in violation with the treaty, and if/when the US takes the matter to the WTO court, it allows signatories to use the treaty to justify their unilateral trade restrictions against US companies.

Since those companies cannot refuse to comply with secret warrants in the US, and they cannot refuse to comply with treaty nations' laws, their only way out of the bind is to stop operating in treaty countries. This increases the political pressure within the US against the monitoring, since those US companies (and hence their rented politicians) care more about being locked out of foreign markets than they care about teh terrists.

Put it another way, if it didn't matter, why is the US pushing so hard to change it?

Text of one of TFA (3, Informative)

c0lo (1497653) | about 8 months ago | (#45522605)

TFA on the foreignpolicy type: pops up a "blocking" iframe asking for registration. Duh, even with noscript, it's just easy do "view page source", and copy the pasta into a dummy.html file.

Excepts from it:

The Brazilian and German initiative seeks to apply the right to privacy, which is enshrined in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), to online communications. Their proposal, [...], affirms a "right to privacy that is not to be subjected to arbitrary or unlawful interference with their privacy, family, home, or correspondence." It notes that while public safety may "justify the gathering and protection of certain sensitive information," nations "must ensure full compliance" with international human rights laws. A final version the text is scheduled to be presented to U.N. members on Wednesday evening and the resolution is expected to be adopted next week.

Publicly, U.S. representatives say they're open to an affirmation of privacy rights. "The United States takes very seriously our international legal obligations, including those under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights," Kurtis Cooper, a spokesman for the U.S. mission to the United Nations, said in an email. "We have been actively and constructively negotiating to ensure that the resolution promotes human rights and is consistent with those obligations."

But privately, American diplomats are pushing hard to kill a provision of the Brazilian and German draft which states that "extraterritorial surveillance" and mass interception of communications, personal information, and metadata may constitute a violation of human rights. The United States and its allies, according to diplomats, outside observers, and documents, contend that the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights does not apply to foreign espionage.

In recent days, the United States circulated to its allies a confidential paper highlighting American objectives in the negotiations, "Right to Privacy in the Digital Age -- U.S. Redlines." It calls for changing the Brazilian and German text so "that references to privacy rights are referring explicitly to States' obligations under ICCPR and remove suggestion that such obligations apply extraterritorially." In other words: America wants to make sure it preserves the right to spy overseas.

The United States negotiators have been pressing their case behind the scenes, raising concerns that the assertion of extraterritorial human rights could constrain America's effort to go after international terrorists. But Washington has remained relatively muted about their concerns in the U.N. negotiating sessions. According to one diplomat, "the United States has been very much in the backseat," leaving it to its allies, Australia, Britain, and Canada, to take the lead.

There is no extraterritorial obligation on states "to comply with human rights," explained one diplomat who supports the U.S. position. "The obligation is on states to uphold the human rights of citizens within their territory and areas of their jurisdictions."

Duhhh... what?!? So, breaking human rights doesn't count if done outside the country of the perpetrator? You mean Abu Ghraib was perfectly legal after all?

Re:Text of one of TFA (1)

kermidge (2221646) | about 8 months ago | (#45522727)

An interesting twist, extra-territoriality notwithstanding, is how the U.S. will explain its hypocrisy in the matter of the wholesale interception of all the electronic communications of their own citizens.

Devil's Advocate (1)

thestudio_bob (894258) | about 8 months ago | (#45522673)

Not to play the devils advocate or anything, but you think China and Russia are on board with this? Don't just point to the big bad U.S.A. on this one boys. It's all the big governments.

Re:Devil's Advocate (3, Interesting)

AHuxley (892839) | about 8 months ago | (#45522853)

The world knows the past of a China and Russia/Soviet Union. The world knows telco and networking the reach of a China and Russia.
They are limited in their total global reach per country. As Snowden and many others show, only the US and UK can really peer, buy, trade or surround the more interesting global telco interconnects.
Lots of governments have total mastery of their own networks but very few have total mastery of the world wide telco/internet crypto.
It is really only the US and UK who have become addicted to signals on a global scale and now can't escape global comment on their now very public actions.
China likes trade, eduction backed with loans and local political support to gain influence.
Russia likes the individual with the correct ideological, human weakness or cash flow issues that make them willing to sell out to gain insights.
The US is really the one country left with one very expensive trick thats lost all its magic - signals intelligence.
The rest of the world is slowly looking at their own intelligence services/telcos and seeing nothing but collusion and collaboration with the UK and USA.
Junk crypto with codes and methods been passed around/sold by ex staff. Their own staff are not protecting their vital national crypto interests anymore.
UN votes like this just say no to mass outside surveillance - on their citizens, on their companies, on their banks, on their telcos, on their political parties, on their faiths, on their trade deals.
i.e. a China and Russia do not really have to care, all their 'other' options are working just fine.
Most other counties just want their expensive telco equipment to be safer from "ex staff"

Re:Devil's Advocate (3, Insightful)

gagol (583737) | about 8 months ago | (#45523095)

But only the US citizens let their governments spends billions of their own money on it to target them without doing a thing about it. Land of the free... not! Land of the brave, not!

And this is why Schneier undid 10 years NSA work (5, Interesting)

UpnAtom (551727) | about 8 months ago | (#45522741)

And this is why Schneier undid 10 years NSA work on subverting encryption algorithms [schneier.com] . Terrorists are a miniscule threat compared to our Governments and Secret Services

The US no longer has a legitimate "government (..) for the people." The UK never did, except occasionally by chance.

We know that power like this is abused and attracts those who will abuse it. We must consider whether we want our children to live in a free country.

"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."

We need to support projects like MailPile [mailpile.is] and BitMessage [bitmessage.org] . Maybe some of you know of or are working on other projects you'd care to mention.

Re:And this is why Schneier undid 10 years NSA wor (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45522797)

Maybe some of you know of or are working on other projects you'd care to mention.

I'd rather not make a target of myself. And that is the sad truth.

Re:And this is why Schneier undid 10 years NSA wor (1)

FatLittleMonkey (1341387) | about 8 months ago | (#45523605)

This is why the use of encryption and obfuscation products needs to be universal, and on by default, not just even if you don't need it, but especially when you don't need it.

I'll care to mention (1)

Burz (138833) | about 8 months ago | (#45522829)

I2P and Qubes OS, though I am not yet contributing directly I do use them and understand them to some extent. My main concern is that the solutions are comprehensive and thus get used consistently, instead of diddling around with numerous application-layer protocols and OS add-ons.

I've started writing about them in my journal...

Re:And this is why Schneier undid 10 years NSA wor (4, Insightful)

Mister Liberty (769145) | about 8 months ago | (#45522835)

Agreed.
And we need to take CARE of our Whistleblowers.
Develop some thoughts on that.
Obama and his thugs hunt them -- we should provide cover,
shelter and care for them.
How -- that is the big question.

Re:And this is why Schneier undid 10 years NSA wor (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45523089)

I like that schneier link. Not having the will nor expertise to actually read snowden's leaks, it's good to read the conclusion of an expert about them.

Re:And this is why Schneier undid 10 years NSA wor (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45523177)

https://prism-break.org/

Re:And this is why Schneier undid 10 years NSA wor (0)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | about 8 months ago | (#45523235)

All of this anti-Obama anti-government, shit is getting old. You sound like the militia movement from the 1990s. Put a sock in it, this is a civilized website where smart people talk.

Re:And this is why Schneier undid 10 years NSA wor (2)

UpnAtom (551727) | about 8 months ago | (#45523737)

You sound like the militia movement from the 1990s.

That voice you hear... isn't me. You might want to get that checked out.

this is a civilized website where smart people talk.

So what are you doing here?

I am British and thus have no US party bias, which is more than I can say for you. Also, I am left of Obama, like nearly all Brits -- so you couldn't be further off the mark.

And why (3, Interesting)

Opportunist (166417) | about 8 months ago | (#45522781)

Why do I get to hear that here and not from our local news, or rather, from my politicians who invariably had to notice this?

Somehow I doubt the US are alone in that.

Re:And why (1)

artor3 (1344997) | about 8 months ago | (#45523809)

Honest answer? Because it's not really important, so your local news and pols won't bother to report on it. But with the proper headline, it WILL make you very angry, and angry people give lots of page views, so Slashdot will report it.

Be honest: is it really newsworthy that the US doesn't want the UN to condemn international spying? If the UN did condemn international spying, would that change anything? Of course not. This article is completely trivial. It only serves as a launch pad for angry ranting. It's your Two Minutes Hate for the day, except it lasts more than two minutes, and occurs multiple times a day.

Rules are going to be used against US, not others (3, Insightful)

PerlPunk (548551) | about 8 months ago | (#45522785)

If you think the signatories to the privacy rules really believe in them, you are smoking some awfully strong weed. No politician--NO POLITICIAN--cares about your privacy. At best those rules will be used unilaterally and when some advantage against the US can be secured through those rules.

On the flip-side, if you think the US is doing the same thing, you're right. This is politics, and you have to see both sides, not just one, through political lenses.

Only China and Russia should be allowed to spy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45522891)

b/c they never pretended to be for highfalutin personal freedoms. Let's let them spy on us all they want, take all of our industrial and military know-how and we'll just sit around drinking beer!

We'll show them who the cool kids are.

Unusual Need (2, Interesting)

Jim Sadler (3430529) | about 8 months ago | (#45522931)

The current crop of terrorists certainly have been dangerous enough. But if the mood of nations is such that terror will be the popular mode of rebellion we need to take unusual measures to survive. So far I suggest letting the US spy internally without much restraint at all. But we should put in place laws that compensate victims for damages more stringently when they are damaged by error from authorities. For example people who are imprisoned and found to be innocent should be heavily compensated as should people who have lost jobs or been under threat of arrest without cause. We also need to imprison cops more often when they go beyond what is allowed and harm people without good reason, Spaying people in handcuffs or use of stun guns repeatedly for no reason needs to be halted.

Re:Unusual Need (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45523167)

Who sign your paycheck dear spin doctor?

Re:Unusual Need (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45523649)

Spaying people in handcuffs

Eeek.

Re:Unusual Need (1)

FatLittleMonkey (1341387) | about 8 months ago | (#45523755)

use of stun guns repeatedly for no reason

"For no reason"? The problem is that police always say it's for their safety, or to reduce a threat, or some other excuse. Always, "in accordance with their training". They never admit that they used tasers or pepper spray out of frustration or as a coercive measure, or as an ad hoc punishment, there's always a "reason"

The harsh reality about privacy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45523053)

The only real privacy that anyone can ever really enjoy is roughly a ratio between whatever level of interest might exist in other people about that person, and the effort that they can expend (ideally without resorting to actually breaking the law) to keep anyone from finding private information about them in the first place.

One is always only ever really in control of the denominator in that ratio.

We civilly afford people around us privacy because we may desire that those around us afford us likewise.... to do otherwise may be rude, but it's hardly tantamount to deprivation of inalienable rights.

Bullshit sideshow (0)

oldhack (1037484) | about 8 months ago | (#45523143)

Most of these UN yakkity-yah are load of hogwash. Take their human rights thingamaggie for example. Not worth the sandwiches they fed the clowns sitting in the meetings.

Do you seriously think CIA/NSA will stop spying because UN passed something or other? Would any self-respecting country give up endeavors in what she considers in their national security interest because of a "UN resolution"?

You kids need to wise up.

So long Democrats (3, Interesting)

c5402dc53929211e1efb (3084201) | about 8 months ago | (#45523723)

Have only ever voted D in the past. Now it will be 3rd party or nothing. Every time some horrible government intrusion comes to light Obama is either silent or supports it. Not going to keep voting for my enemies.

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