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UN Votes To Protect Privacy In Digital Age

timothy posted about 4 months ago | from the that-and-five-bucks-gets-you-a-latte dept.

Government 124

First time accepted submitter jma05 writes "The UN General Assembly unanimously adopted a privacy resolution introduced by Brazil and Germany, against unlawful surveillance. 'The resolution affirms that the same rights that people have offline must also be protected online, including the right to privacy.' Under pressure from US lobbying, the clause that mass surveillance constitutes a human rights violation was dropped earlier."

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124 comments

And how is (2, Insightful)

rossdee (243626) | about 4 months ago | (#45738165)

the UN going to protect anybodys privacy?

Re:And how is (5, Funny)

Spy Handler (822350) | about 4 months ago | (#45738191)

sanctions.

Re:And how is (2)

SirGarlon (845873) | about 4 months ago | (#45738385)

Don't laugh. If the sleeping giant we call the UN General Assembly were to awaken and get angry, woe betide the country on whom its wrath should fall. Unlike the Security Council, there is no veto in the General Assembly, so one or a handful of countries could not stop the hammer of sanctions from coming down.

I have long thought my country (US) needs a large dose of humility in international affairs, but I would much rather it acquire that humility by gentler means than meaningful economic sanctions.

Re:And how is (4, Insightful)

qbzzt (11136) | about 4 months ago | (#45738415)

Woe, in this case, is a non-binding resolution to stop trading with the US. Countries that benefit from trade with the US will mostly either defy that decision, or claim to obey it while doing it under the table.

The UN is not a government and it does not have an enforcement mechanism (UN troops are national troops loaned to the UN). It is a debating society.

Re:And how is (2)

SirGarlon (845873) | about 4 months ago | (#45738541)

Countries that benefit from trade with the US will mostly either defy that decision, or claim to obey it while doing it under the table.

Sure, self-interest applies, but it is not necessarily that simple. The United States, or, rather, its corporate citizens, benefited from trade with South Africa, but they eventually sided with the divestment movement [wikipedia.org] and hit South Africa where it hurt.

I don't claim it's a likely outcome, but if my government keeps behaving like a bully, there has to be some major blowback eventually.

Re:And how is (1)

InfiniteLoopCounter (1355173) | about 4 months ago | (#45739625)

The United States, or, rather, its corporate citizens, benefited from trade with South Africa, but they eventually sided with the divestment movement [wikipedia.org] and hit South Africa where it hurt.

I don't claim it's a likely outcome, but if my government keeps behaving like a bully, there has to be some major blowback eventually.

From the wikipedia article it shows that this was primarily backed by religious people in the US and not the politicians of the time in government. Today South Africa has a policy of Black Economic Empowerment [wikipedia.org] which is essentially a tit-for-tat policy that further puts into law race differences and somehow benefits a "Chinese" looking person who may come into the country fresh today over a local "white person" who is being "reverse discriminated" against. [youtube.com] Whilst not as bad as Zimbabwe's policies, the sentiments are similar, and you wonder how race can still be an issue there when in most places in the west it doesn't matter at all. Perhaps South Africa could have been today in a much better shape if it just went out of Aparteid on commercial and trade foundations and actually enshrined into law equality for all.

Re:And how is (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45739975)

Sooner rather than later - the rest of the world is sick of your shit. Sick!

Re:And how is (2)

Chalnoth (1334923) | about 4 months ago | (#45738713)

Well, the UN is a bit more than a debating society. It is a place for nations around the world to sit down and talk. That capacity alone is quite important.

No, UN resolutions aren't binding. But they are a reflection of what governments around the world believe they should be seen supporting. This is a sign, in short, that the argument that governments should not engage in broad surveillance of citizens is being one ideologically. This doesn't stop any such surveillance, but it may be a step along the way towards limiting government surveillance.

Re:And how is (1)

TheCarp (96830) | about 4 months ago | (#45738945)

> No, UN resolutions aren't binding. But they are a reflection of what governments around the world
> believe they should be seen supporting.

As opposed, of course, to what they believe they should actually support :)

Kind of like the Yemeni and other officials who work behind the scenes with American intelligence while running for office under the banner of hating America?

Re:And how is (0)

icebike (68054) | about 4 months ago | (#45739537)

Well, the UN is a bit more than a debating society. It is a place for nations around the world to sit down and talk. That capacity alone is quite important.

My gawd, haven't the events since 1945 taken the bloom off of that rose yet?
How many generations of failure does it take for the naive to wake from their slumber among the unicorns and fairy and realize that the UN is useless?

Sit down and talk? Really? How old are you, 12?

Nations don't "sit down and talk". Leaders of nations pick up the phone, or dial up the video conference when ever they need it.
Far from a sit down it had become mostly a place to grand stand. No new understanding is achieved between countries in the UN, its simply more of the same posturing and podium pounding, and excuse making while tyrants murder their own citizens and nations keep on invading other nations.
Every important matter between countries is handled in face to face meetings, some public, some secret. But nothing of importance is handled by the UN.

Re:And how is (2)

SteveFoerster (136027) | about 4 months ago | (#45739679)

This is reminiscent of how bills in Congress are really decided in committee, with the floor speeches just meant to impress the suckers back home.

Re:And how is (4, Insightful)

TapeCutter (624760) | about 4 months ago | (#45741159)

nothing of importance is handled by the UN.

The UN eradicated smallpox and are very close to eradicating polio, if they did nothing else all the bluster and bullshit will have been worth it. If you expect them eradicate the people you personally view as tyrants and warmongers, you will be bitterly disappointed.

Sit down and talk? Really? How old are you, 12?

I'm in my 50's, in my experience it's the adults/nations who stamp their feet and won't talk who are generally perceived as immature. There's a strong meme in the US that only "good nations" should have a seat at the UN, it's a meme that displays a complete lack of understanding as to why the UN was formed in the first place. Also, if you believe in the US ideal of free speech you will defend ImADinnerJacket's inalienable right to stand on the podium and spew his bile to the world, nobody is forcing you to listen, which is why ImADinnerJacket is normally talking to empty seats.

Re:And how is (4, Informative)

Smauler (915644) | about 4 months ago | (#45739777)

No, UN resolutions aren't binding. But they are a reflection of what governments around the world believe they should be seen supporting.

You mean like the International Criminal Court [wikipedia.org], which was founded 11 years ago? The US is the only western country not to accept the ICC. Everyone around the world thinks this is odd.

Re:And how is (4, Insightful)

Chalnoth (1334923) | about 4 months ago | (#45740317)

I'd be quite surprised if the rest of the world thinks it's odd. The US is actively involved in numerous war crimes, and has been for a number of years. It's despicable.

Re:And how is (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45738455)

You are a rarity. I agree with you on the humility part, but sometimes I just wish for some huge natural disaster or a complete dollar collapse. You guys deserve to spend a couple of centuries in a state of starvation and suffering after the past 50 years actions.

Re:And how is (0)

Sponge Bath (413667) | about 4 months ago | (#45738501)

You guys deserve to spend a couple of centuries in a state of starvation and suffering after the past 50 years actions.

Moral authority level: zero.

Re:And how is (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45738595)

Oh, I forgot. The moral reference is of course the US. God loves Americans with guns.

Re:And how is (1)

Oligonicella (659917) | about 4 months ago | (#45739401)

Actually no. It would stem from the fact that the US is the largest charitable contributor on the planet. This is both governmental and private.

Re:And how is (4, Insightful)

Smauler (915644) | about 4 months ago | (#45739839)

The amount the dominant country puts back into an economy as charity is difficult to quantify. The British Empire pumped billions in to all of its colonies. It took out more, or it would not have done it. Pumping money into regimes to make them vaguely stable so that you can economically profit is _not_ charity.

Re:And how is (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 4 months ago | (#45739467)

You are a rarity. I agree with you on the humility part, but sometimes I just wish for some huge natural disaster or a complete dollar collapse. You guys deserve to spend a couple of centuries in a state of starvation and suffering after the past 50 years actions.

Wow, what a fucking sociopath. "Your government's done some fucked up shit before, so all you citizens who had nothing to do with any of that deserve to die horrible, painful deaths."

Yea, well, fuck you too, buddy.

Re:And how is (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45740051)

I'm not seeing any will to change at all. Not even the slightest. I never said die. Just suffer.

On the subject of fuck you, well, the same to you.

Re:And how is (2)

meerling (1487879) | about 4 months ago | (#45739477)

Nobody deserves that.
Besides, if you want to condemn and punish an entire country, especially since politics are constantly changing, there are two things you seem to have forgotten.

First, all the good the USA does. Whether you like it or not, they are a major contributor of relief to other countries when they are victims of disasters, and even pays 22% of the UNs funding. Don't forget that the US is also both a major consumer of goods from other countries, but supplies a huge amount of the worlds food. You cause a country to undergo a serious issue like a "complete dollar collapse", and you can kiss all that and more goodbye. Whether you like it or not, you'll lose the good that the USA does and hurt almost everyone.

Second, stop calling the kettle black. Sure, the USA is one of the big dogs, and everyone likes complaining about the big dog, but come one, virtually everything the USA has done, has been done by all the rest. Many of them do all of them, but there are a very few exceptions that do only some of them. The only difference is that it's come out in the news so people are complaining about it. Heck, even countries that yelled at the USA for spying on their ambassadors admitted a week or so later that they spied on everyone elses ambassadors as well.

The USA is supposed to be a world leader in freedom and 'democracy' and generally play the good child. In that, it's rather fallen in the mud lately, and has been acting like most of the rest of the unruly brats running around this neighborhood called Earth. That's too bad, but if you really think they are horrible and need to be punished with having limbs amputated or locked in the cellar for acting like the rest of them instead of being given a stern talking to and perhaps made to stand in the corner for a while, then you really need to have a hard look at yourself in the mirror and figure out that what you are doing wrong.
(If one child pees the bed, are you going to cancel the family vacation just to punish the one?)

Re:And how is (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | about 4 months ago | (#45741323)

Your fighting human nature by pointing out the obvious, we evolved a sophisticated "theory of mind" that perceives competing tribes as a single personality. Your mind will naturally construct such a personality for just about anything (cars, houses, pet rocks, etc), you can compensate with logic but you can't make it go away.

Re:And how is (1)

Chris Mattern (191822) | about 4 months ago | (#45739317)

Don't laugh. If the sleeping giant we call the UN General Assembly were to awaken and get angry,

Absolutely nothing would happen. Because the General Assembly doesn't have the power to vote on anything stronger than making an unhappy face. It takes the Security Council to do anything real.

Re:And how is (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45739959)

I'd always assumed it would be a scenario involving the rest of the world attacking the US the way they did Germany during the second world war - using modern physical weapons. Oh well. let's sit back and nomnomnom our way through the popcorn.

Re:And how is (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45738409)

Not sure why you were modded funny; sanctions could be an international agreement (like ACTA) to prohibit trade with the USA.

Let them see what it's really like to be isolated from the world.

Re:And how is (1)

meerling (1487879) | about 4 months ago | (#45739491)

Looks like one country is already going to get a license to ignore ip restrictions on USA stuff.
Haven't heard any news on that for about a month, so I don't know it's current status.

Re:And how is (2)

Sponge Bath (413667) | about 4 months ago | (#45738425)

World citizens: Is there someone else up there we can talk to?
UN: No, now go away or I shall taunt you a second time!

Re:And how is (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45739593)

[and how is] the UN going to protect anybodys privacy?

sanctions.

Nope, not even that.

From the article: "General Assembly resolutions are not legally binding but they do reflect world opinion and carry political weight."

The UN will express its opinion. That "carries political weight."

Re:And how is (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45738289)

the UN going to protect anybodys privacy?

Well....if ANY country SO dares to violate ones privacy, the UN will send a strongly worded letter!

Don't mess with the U.N.!

Re:And how is (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45738351)

Nothing will change, but it sends a clear message to everybody that USA has been a naughty-dirty little boy.

Re:And how is (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45738429)

They won't protect our privacy which is fine by me. Any UN powerful enough to protect our privacy would be powerful enough to take it away. That would be much worse than having one nation violate your rights. At least when one nation violates your rights you have the option of fleeing. If a world government violated your rights, that option would be taken away. Given the power sufficient to protect privacy or take it away, what do you think such a powerful UN would do?

Re:And how is (1)

ackthpt (218170) | about 4 months ago | (#45738431)

the UN going to protect anybodys privacy?

The real question is, does anyone pay any attention to what the UN says about anything?

I bet the UN is so widely ignored nobody on /. can remember what the last resolution was about (I certainly don't.)

Re:And how is (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45738537)

Both James Clapper and Keith Alexander should be hanged from the neck until dead.

Re:And how is (1)

melchoir55 (218842) | about 4 months ago | (#45739213)

People should consider hard the opinion that "the UN is meaningless because it can't enforce anything".

The point of the UN is that there is an open forum where countries can debate issues relevant to the world in good faith. The same principle applies to political debates in the USA. No one is enforcing what is promised in political debates, yet they are still meaningful. The day debate become meaningless because nothing is "enforced" is the same day that raw force is what a society is being governed by, rather than rule by law (or the consent of the people). Politicians have a huge incentive never to let it get that far because, at that point, the only way citizens can effect change is with force. There are a LOT more citizens then are politicians, or police, or military.

Politicians (senators, or kings, or lords, or whatehavyou) appear to forget all that every once in a while. They are then reminded at the end of a gun, or underneath a gallows.

Re:And how is (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45739495)

Of course, we already know that the U.S won't respond to shame over its actions, nor to the disapproval from the countries of the free world. So we will have to get on their level.

Hence, the UN will issue a decree stating that Obama has a very small penis, and that he was once cock-slapped by Angela Merkel while he cried and peed himself.
The decree will not be retracted until the U.S apologizes.

Re:And how is (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45741215)

UN is still relevant ? Are we time traveling backwards....

That should scare the NSA (2)

JoeyRox (2711699) | about 4 months ago | (#45738197)

I mean, who wants the all-powerful UN coming after them, especially when the UN's largest financial contributor is the USA.

Re:That should scare the NSA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45738343)

The UN wants an all-powerful single world government. And when they achieve that goal via Agenda 21, they will make the NSA look like freakin' boy scouts. We need to withdraw entirely from the UN.

Re: That should scare the NSA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45738393)

Tin foil hat snugly in place? Better double check!

Re: That should scare the NSA (3, Informative)

ArhcAngel (247594) | about 4 months ago | (#45738599)

Just because AC is being paranoid doesn't mean they aren't out to get him.

Re: That should scare the NSA (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 4 months ago | (#45739587)

Just because AC is being paranoid doesn't mean they aren't out to get him.

No shit.

I mean granted, I personally don't buy the conspiracy angle (They're going to force all the people in the Midwest to relocate to the coasts? Obviously anyone who thinks that has never met any actual Midwesterners), but conspiracy theories or not, there very much is a book, written and updated by UN councils, that outlines how they believe nations should control population and resource use, and some of it is pretty fucked up, if you actually bother to read the document. [un.org]

Of course, we must always keep in mind that the UN is basically toothless.

Re:That should scare the NSA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45738441)

Is that kool-ade good, moron?

Re:That should scare the NSA (4, Informative)

buchner.johannes (1139593) | about 4 months ago | (#45738399)

US only contributes 22%. Europe pays more. Get your facts straight. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_nations#Funding [wikipedia.org]

Re:That should scare the NSA (1, Insightful)

Moheeheeko (1682914) | about 4 months ago | (#45738435)

I find it funny that people have to compare a continent to a country to make the US look less important.

Re:That should scare the NSA (2)

buchner.johannes (1139593) | about 4 months ago | (#45738773)

I am not comparing a continent to a country, but equal shares of the worlds population (and in this case, also equal amounts of GDP). GGP made it sound like the US runs the UN, but no matter how you dice the population of the world, they are not, nor is any other major block.

Re:That should scare the NSA (1)

Moheeheeko (1682914) | about 4 months ago | (#45739059)

Except in this case population doesnt mean jack. The largest contribution from a single entity comes form the US, and as the AC demonstrates below, it takes a Dozen from europe to even match that. Just because you and 8 of your friends can cover half of the lunch bill doesnt make the one guy who covers the other half less important, keep moving those goalpost though.

Re:That should scare the NSA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45738823)

Well, whole north america pays ~27%, if including brazil, you get 30%. Counting only the european countries in that top 17 list is 31,6%, so that's 1,5 continents (north america + brazil) versus half a continent (europian countries in the top 17 list). Happy?

Also just because you think comparing usa to an individual country is somehow right, it isn't, except canada, russia and china. Usa is UNITED STATES of america. You still have your state governments.

Re:That should scare the NSA (1)

Moheeheeko (1682914) | about 4 months ago | (#45738853)

Who all answer to to the federal govt. Individual cities have their own govt systems too, should we start splitting those up as well?

Re:That should scare the NSA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45738885)

Last time I checked, most European countries are split up into provinces with local governments as well.

Re:That should scare the NSA (2)

TapeCutter (624760) | about 4 months ago | (#45741457)

The EU has 27 states and 500M people, the US has 50 states and 300M people. Germany and California have comparable economies, Nato and the Pentagon serve similar roles, etc. Aside from that, calculations of who contributes what to the UN should really be done on a per capita basis before you start trying to compare large federations to each other.

Re:That should scare the NSA (3, Funny)

ComputerGeek01 (1182793) | about 4 months ago | (#45738497)

Europe is not a country, they like to pretend to be one entity when comparing themselves to the US. But one mention of something like a fiscal policy or paying off debt in a realistic manner and they break apart faster then the US congress on an election year.

Re:That should scare the NSA (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45738533)

But one mention of something like a fiscal policy or paying off debt in a realistic manner and they break apart faster then the US congress on an election year.

Um.. If you mention fiscal policy or paying off debt in a realistic manner the US breaks apart equally fast.

Re:That should scare the NSA (1)

Tihstae (86842) | about 4 months ago | (#45738575)

Comparing a country to a continent is only valid if Australia is involved.

Your comparison is ridiculous. To use a car analogy, since every comparison should have an equal car analogy, you are comparing engines to cupholders and thinking that people won't see through your idiocy.

Re:That should scare the NSA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45738597)

So what your saying is ONE country, the USA, pays just over 1/5th of the UNs money. Nice.
By all means, kick us out please.

Re:That should scare the NSA (1)

Chris Mattern (191822) | about 4 months ago | (#45739387)

US only contributes 22%. Europe pays more.

"Europe" pays nothing. EU dues to the UN are precisely zero--the EU doesn't even have a seat in the General Assembly! Talking about how much "Europe" pays makes as much much sense as adding together China, Korea, India and Japan and talking about how much "Asia" pays.

Re:That should scare the NSA (2)

amicusNYCL (1538833) | about 4 months ago | (#45739711)

US only contributes 22%.

The US "only" contributes 22% of the UN budget? Not only is that more than double what the next country contributes (and more than 3x what the top European country contributes), but 22% is also the maximum allowed for a contribution for the period of 2013-2015 (the minimum is 0.001%). The US is at the max, we can't contribute any more, sorry. Maybe all of Europe can step up and help out a little more to lower our $618 million bill. Here is the document [un.org] that lists the actual contributions from each country, and the rules for contributions are here [un.org].

Re:That should scare the NSA (1)

msobkow (48369) | about 4 months ago | (#45740601)

Yep. After all, they're so obedient to the laws of the US itself already...

Meaningless votes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45738219)

Just like all the other UN resolution, it will always be sabotaged by the perpetual divisions within the security council with perpetual frivolous vetoes. Even if there is no veto, the fact that dictatorship nations have been voted into UN human rights commissions speaks volumes of how serious this 'resolution' really is. Besides, it only stops 'unlawful' surveillance, which will do nothing to nations giving blank checks to legalized tyrannies.

Re:Meaningless votes (1)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about 4 months ago | (#45738281)

dictatorship nations have been voted into UN human rights commissions

This is unacceptable, because my idea of human rights is the only one that matters! Those dictatorships don't deserve a vote; they'll just screw it up. Just leave this whole decision to me, and I'll take care of it.

I vote... (0)

wbr1 (2538558) | about 4 months ago | (#45738223)

...for burritos every night. Doesn't mean anyone gets them for me.

Re:I vote... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45738473)

Is that you, Troy? I didn't think you had a Slashdot account. I still don't have one even though I read and post all the time. I'm just too lazy to get one.

What privacy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45738225)

I'd assume this means that it wouldn't be okay to sneak into your house and spy on you.
However if you're wandering around in public (on public network), talking to (messaging) people and looking at things (websites), it's okay for the government to note that.

So basically nothing has changed.

General Assembly (1)

BringsApples (3418089) | about 4 months ago | (#45738265)

From TFA:

General Assembly resolutions are not legally binding but they do reflect world opinion and carry political weight.

And this is more to protect foreign nations' leaders against US spying, not citizens.

USA voted for this (5, Interesting)

ZombieBraintrust (1685608) | about 4 months ago | (#45738283)

The UN General Assembly unanimously adopted a privacy resolution

That means USA voted for it. It also means countries that you would not normally associate with a right to privacy voted for it. Basically it was watered down enough that no one opposed it.

Re:USA voted for this (4, Insightful)

Chelloveck (14643) | about 4 months ago | (#45738629)

That means USA voted for it. It also means countries that you would not normally associate with a right to privacy voted for it. Basically it was watered down enough that no one opposed it.

My guess is that the magic word is "unlawful". Sure, the US opposes unlawful surveillance. That's why we've made it perfectly legal for the government to poke it's nose into anywhere, at any time. No unlawful surveillance here, nope!

Tautology cat is tautological.

Drivel (1)

Mephistophocles (930357) | about 4 months ago | (#45738309)

Meaningless posturing. The UN is utterly powerless against the NSA and its whims. This resolution carries about as much weight as a post on Slashdot critisizing it.

Trusting anyone to guard your privacy is foolish (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45738401)

The only privacy you're entitled to have is the privacy you make for yourself.

Meaningless (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45738547)

Meaningless pablum for the masses.

"The UN General Assembly unanimously adopted a privacy resolution introduced by Brazil and Germany, against unlawful surveillance."

All the countries doing mass surveillance (USA, UK, France, Germany, China, etc.) all claim that they are doing it legally. And since the article states that UN resolutions are not legally binding, this will do absolutely nothing except to be used by some politicians as an excuse to increase the "campaign contributions" required to get certain corporate sponsored legislation passed.

The damage was done (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45738601)

It cannot be healed with promises or half assed laws. Like always there will be people that belive, but only because they want to. Those people that finally lost their trust will not be convinced that way.

The only way is to open up. People must have the power to inspect the Technology they use. That means Hardware, Software and everything.

That of course would mean including BIOS and UEFI. Things like DRM would be impossible because and it would be a good thing.

That all will never happen but trust will equally not be given to.

In other news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45738707)

The UN today unanimously passed a resolution stating that kittens are adorable, especially when they are sleepy.

Will it work... (1)

pubwvj (1045960) | about 4 months ago | (#45738767)

Will this work as well as all the other UN Votes? Doubtful. But then the others rarely work either.

I am impressed... (4, Insightful)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | about 4 months ago | (#45738781)

The UN has just voted against "unlawful surveillance"...

Which, being unlawful, is already illegal everywhere (pretty much by definition, really).

So they've voted for the status quo to remain the status quo.

Used to be neat and tiddy (1)

DaveAtFraud (460127) | about 4 months ago | (#45738787)

Used to be that military actions took place at the nation vs. nation level and the individual citizens were just along for the ride (whether they wanted to be or not). So, one country would spy on another COUNTRY, intercept the other country's communications, etc. Other than stuff that was military related, commercial and private communications weren't really of interest to national intelligence.

Fast forward to now and you have private citizens taking violent action against countries they disagree with. As 9/11 demonstrated, this sort of action can result in mass casualties and huge material losses. Like it or not, governments have good reason for snooping on the communications of individuals.

I still don't like it. By my reading of the 4th Amendment, the NSA is not allowed to listen in on my (or any other U.S. citizen's) communications. Unfortunately, about all I can do about it is threaten to hold my breath, stomp my feet or, now, appeal to the UN. Appealing to the UN probably won't do any more than my other "threats.".

Cheers,
Dave

As Expected (1)

some old guy (674482) | about 4 months ago | (#45738915)

From TFS: "Under pressure from US lobbying, the clause that mass surveillance constitutes a human rights violation was dropped earlier."

No way in hell was the Land of the Free going to vote for a resolution, toothless as it is, that would in any way encumber or inhibit Big Brother and Big Data.

This is, of course, essential to maintain the facade of legality and ethics the United Police States have to maintain as part of the whole scam.

Commie USA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45739201)

Commie USA votes lately against everything that could be a roadblock to bring slavery back.
USA was built on slavery and we can see how they miss it very much.

USA, seriously? (1)

KlomDark (6370) | about 4 months ago | (#45739673)

"Under pressure from US lobbying, the clause that mass surveillance constitutes a human rights violation was dropped earlier."

WTF is this shit from the so-called "Land of the free and the home of the brave"? Not US lobbying, let's call it what it is: Corporate lobbying. Sickening to see my country dying under my feet. Everything my parents told me about Russia being bad when I was growing up is instead coming true here. Damn Damn Damn... Where's that flux capacitor when I need one?

Re:USA, seriously? (1)

fnj (64210) | about 4 months ago | (#45740187)

Colonel Otto Heidemann: Herr General, I see now, I have notions of honor which are outdated.
General Count von Klugermann: They're not outdated!
[looks at inexpedient incriminating evidence he is holding in his hand]
Klugermann: Stored. With care, and love, for better times.
[hands evidence back to Heidemann]

Look to better times. And strive to bring them about. Until then, resist, even if only in your thoughts. No one can ever take your thoughts away.

When CSE and NSA spy on the world (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about 4 months ago | (#45739685)

When both Canada (CSE) and the US (NSA) spy on everyone around the world, including their own citizens in their own countries, against their own Constitutions, how can this mean anything?

Or did you not notice the cables being cut and spliced when we did it?

At Least Someone Is Speaking Up! (1)

0xG (712423) | about 4 months ago | (#45739943)

It may not be binding or carry much weight, but at least a voice is speaking up.

I for one am sickened by how the internet is being used for surveillance.
I'm appalled that I played a part in building this beast.

Perhaps we should tear it all down and start over.

Germany (1)

Tom (822) | about 4 months ago | (#45740291)

What a laugh.

Our current (new) government wants to re-introduce the so-called "Vorratsdatenspeicherung" - the storage of all phone, SMS and Internet meta-data of everyone for no reason at all, just so they have that data (going back half a year!) in case they ever think it might help them catch a criminal.

You're guilty until proven innocent.

Re:Germany (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45741353)

It's a shame the pirate party diluted their ideas with bullshit topics that have absolutely everything to do with all other parties except them.

in the u.s. government's twisted view... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45740411)

their failure to keep current on u.n. dues will translate into them not having to abide by the resolution.... while still shoving resolutions of military 'peacekeeping' actions and economic sanctions against its enemies down the throats of the world using the u.n. as their authority-to-act.

One problem... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45740737)

adopted a privacy resolution ... against unlawful surveillance

And what purpose does this serve? It is already unlawful; you can't really make another law to make it even more unlawful. And even if you did, it would still accomplish nothing.

In addition to that, each country decides that their own spying is lawful. So, again, this "resolution" does nothing.

Powerless UN (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45740847)

Most of the comments here are about the pointlessness of this resolution due to the UN's inability to enforce it. While enforcement may have been good in this particular case, overall the ability of a supernational organization to enforce undemocratic resolutions on nearly everyone on earth would be a bad thing. For better or worse, national sovereignty should be respected and protected. Up to this point one could argue that those who defy UN resolutions are typically "the bad guys" (e.g. dictatorships, corrupt regimes, etc), but this need not always be true. At some point there will be a democratic nation governed by sane people who actually act in the people's interest, and who will stand against the insane resolutions of others.

Ultimately might makes right and the strongest nations can impose their will and defy that of others as they please, but at least in principle each nation should be free to do as it pleases within its own borders. Once the concept of sovereignty is lost to that of a world order, we will have a platform for tyranny unlike any before.

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