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UN Report Finds NSA Mass Surveillance Likely Violated Human Rights

Unknown Lamer posted about 2 months ago | from the silly-human-rights-are-for-robots dept.

Privacy 261

An anonymous reader writes A top United Nations human rights official released a report Wednesday that blasts the United States' mass surveillance programs for potentially violating human rights on a worldwide scale. U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay also praised whistleblower Edward Snowden and condemned U.S. efforts to prosecute him. "Those who disclose human rights violations should be protected," she said. "We need them." In particular, the surveillance programs violate Article 12 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

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So now that the UN said it, (5, Interesting)

digsbo (1292334) | about 2 months ago | (#47475443)

does that mean I'm no longer an extremist for demanding my Constitutional rights be respected?

Re:So now that the UN said it, (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47475559)

No. That means that the UN is now a terrorist organization and US will no longer give a shit about resolutions passed by it.

Re:So now that the UN said it, (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47475661)

No. (...) US will no longer give a shit about resolutions passed by it.

The US never did give a shit about UN resolutions. It only cares that other countries do.

Re:So now that the UN said it, (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 2 months ago | (#47476497)

That's different to the status ante... how?

Re:So now that the UN said it, (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47475565)

Remember when the UN complained about Guantanamo Bay? Well, this is similar.

Re:So now that the UN said it, (5, Insightful)

JMJimmy (2036122) | about 2 months ago | (#47475591)

No, it just means that your country has more in common with countries like Iran or Soviet era Russia than you'd like to admit.

Did you know that the US is one of only 3 countries that haven't ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child? The other two are Somalia and South Sudan.

Re:So now that the UN said it, (1)

digsbo (1292334) | about 2 months ago | (#47475635)

No, it just means that your country has more in common with countries like Iran or Soviet era Russia than you'd like to admit.

You haven't seen my anti-US-government rants, have you?

Re:So now that the UN said it, (1)

JMJimmy (2036122) | about 2 months ago | (#47475681)

If I have I wouldn't recognize it as you - I don't look at the usernames, just the comments.

Re:So now that the UN said it, (0)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 2 months ago | (#47475861)

If I have I wouldn't recognize it as you - I don't look at the usernames, just the comments.

I used to be the same way, until one user became abusive.

Re:So now that the UN said it, (1)

Noah Haders (3621429) | about 2 months ago | (#47476595)

who?

Re:So now that the UN said it, (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47475951)

No, it just means that your country has more in common with countries like Iran or Soviet era Russia than you'd like to admit.

You haven't seen my anti-US-government rants, have you?

These days the U.S. Constitution would count as an anti-US-government rant so that's not exactly a distinguishing feature.

Re:So now that the UN said it, (1)

some old guy (674482) | about 2 months ago | (#47476255)

Well played, AC. Well played.

Re:So now that the UN said it, (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47476067)

The US has legitimate objections to the CRC. Around here we believe that things like homeschooling and closed adoptions are in the best interests of some children.

No (0)

Etherwalk (681268) | about 2 months ago | (#47475621)

does that mean I'm no longer an extremist for demanding my Constitutional rights be respected?

No.

The UN has stated that this probably violated Article 12 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which, together with the ICCPR and ICESCR, serve as the "International Bill of Rights." While international law is part of the law of the United States, it is rarely looked to in the United States, and the Universal Declaration is more aspirational than really binding. It doesn't invalidate our laws on its own; we don't have a policy as striking things down because they violate it.

This has *nothing* to do with the United States Constitution. You can demand your Constitutional rights be respected as much as you want; most people demand that without having an understanding of what the Constitution guarantees, instead using it (without legal basis) to rationalize a position that the government shouldn't interfere in X, where X is what they want to do.

Re:No (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47475669)

You can demand your Constitutional rights be respected as much as you want; most people demand that without having an understanding of what the Constitution guarantees, instead using it (without legal basis) to rationalize a position that the government shouldn't interfere in X, where X is what they want to do.

The NSA is clearly violating the constitution. It's not that people are wrong about that simple fact; it's that courts are often complicit in the crimes against the American people and 'interpret' the constitution in such a way that it means something completely different from what it says, what it was intended to mean, and what the spirit of the constitution means it means. Not only is this a blatant violation of the 4th amendment, but this style of surveillance been used against the founders, there's zero doubt that they would've taken more explicit steps to prevent the US government from using it.

Re:No (4, Interesting)

demachina (71715) | about 2 months ago | (#47475983)

The founding fathers weren't exactly the pillars of individual freedom you seem to think they were. They were an American centric elite and plutocracy trying to displace a Britsh centric elite and plutocracy, mostly so they could have a bigger cut of America's growing wealth.

You can tell because most of those constitutional protections and the Bill of Rights didn't apply to people who weren't affluent(i.e. who didn't own land), women, native American's, blacks/slaves and indentured whites. They applied mostly to white men who had wealth (at least enough to own land).

They actively prevented people who were not white, male and affluent from voting or holding office. They were mostly slave owners themselves, and they were for the most part very affluent and owners of very large real estate holdings. They were all 1%'ers.

The Declaration of Independence and Constitution were carefully designed to inspire support from enough people in the colonies for their Revolution to succeed, and to create the illusion of freedom, but they had no intention of relinquishing their power and control over the levers of government when it their Revolution did succeed. That plutocracy has never relinquished that control in the more than 200 years since.

The NSA along with the DHS, FBI, ATF and IRS are means for maintaining that control.

The Internet let a genie out of a bottle and created dangerous potentential for the rest of us to organize and try to win some of that power and control back.

When faced with the twin crises, and excuses, that were 9/11 and the 2008 crash it was nearly inevitable that The Powers That Be in the U.S. and U.K. would exploit every tool at their disposal, mainly computers and networks, to try to put a lid back on their control of their increasingly restless and networked homelands and to try to maintain their domination of the world as a whole in the face of increasing challenges.

The 2008 crash in particular resulted in widespread global disillusionment with the fact economies and governments are rigged to benefit the ruling elite and screw everyone else. When ruling elites start feeling that heat they trot out their police states, always have, always will.

Re:No (0)

jeIIomizer (3670945) | about 2 months ago | (#47476609)

The founding fathers weren't exactly the pillars of individual freedom you seem to think they were.

I don't see where he said that they were. The founding fathers were far from perfect, but that does not mean that they did not have a number of good ideas; they did.

Does your post have a point, or is it just, "They weren't perfect, so absolutely everything they believed was 100% incorrect."? I'm not sure, but that's what it looks like to me. His real point was that they wouldn't have tolerated this. They took action against a number of other rights violations that they knew of at the time, and general warrants were unconstitutional, so there's absolutely zero reason to think they would have let something this huge slide.

Re:No (1)

Noah Haders (3621429) | about 2 months ago | (#47476613)

two words: Im Peach. Impeach! Time to get rid of this unconstitutional autocratic president.

Re:No (1)

Megol (3135005) | about 2 months ago | (#47476513)

*Sigh* Yes the founding fathers were perfect beings being created with infinite wisdom, absolute faith, the ability to see the future and cover every situation in the future of mankind with a terse text.

Or maybe not. But it is easier to simply worship the above idea, right?

Re:No (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47476583)

Yes the founding fathers were perfect beings being created with infinite wisdom, absolute faith, the ability to see the future and cover every situation in the future of mankind with a terse text.

Straw man. No one said anything of the sort. Try reading that post again.

Re:No (1)

digsbo (1292334) | about 2 months ago | (#47475671)

In a legal sense, I agree with you 100%. In the sense of the perception of the average person, I don't think what you said applies in the least.

Re:So now that the UN said it, (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47475657)

Does this mean that they'll be asking for their Nobel prize back?

Re:So now that the UN said it, (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47475677)

No, but you could try for refugee status in a country that respects its citizens. Not that it matters, because the US government seems to run most countries, it seems.

Re:So now that the UN said it, (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47475731)

Central America is looking better and better.

Costa Rica might not be bad.

Re:So now that the UN said it, (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47475785)

It is for foreigners attempting to live there and make a living. Maybe as an ex-pat you wouldn't have the same issues though.

Re:So now that the UN said it, (1)

Noah Haders (3621429) | about 2 months ago | (#47476627)

yeah why would snowden go to snowy russia and not to someplace nicer?

From one extremist in Liberty to another (1)

bigpat (158134) | about 2 months ago | (#47476377)

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate, we can not consecrate, we can not hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

- said by Abraham Lincoln on the afternoon of Thursday, November 19, 1863, at the dedication of the Soldiers' National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

Re:So now that the UN said it, (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47476601)

"Suck it, world." -- Dick Cheney

Agreed. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47475453)

The single greatest evil that mankind ever unleashed upon the world was a corrupt government.

We need more people like Snowden. And when they pop up, we should step up and defend them.

(Of course, all *I* am brave enough to do is post an AC comment on a geek forum....but....maybe somebody else will be brave enough to do what needs to be done).

Re:Agreed. (1)

watcher-rv4 (2712547) | about 2 months ago | (#47475533)

Wish I had mod points.

Re:Agreed. (5, Insightful)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about 2 months ago | (#47475741)

To agents in the NSA: It doesn't matter if 999 of 1000 of you are honest. All it takes is one G. Gordon Liddy type who ignores requirements for warrants to listen in on political opponents, and the whole thing is worthless. Possibly that is also the real intent, easy obfuscation of ultimate corruption.

Known historical democracies collapse when they "temporarily" give emergency powers to someone. Greece, Rome, Germany 80 years ago.

And you're participating in this modern panopticon as a rube while someone, maybe next to you, spies for a party or powerful faction.

Re:Agreed. (4, Insightful)

jeIIomizer (3670945) | about 2 months ago | (#47475885)

To agents in the NSA: It doesn't matter if 999 of 1000 of you are honest.

If they were honest, they wouldn't be collecting everyone's data to begin with. That in itself is a violation of people's liberties.

Re:Agreed. (3, Insightful)

gstoddart (321705) | about 2 months ago | (#47476085)

If they were honest, they wouldn't be collecting everyone's data to begin with. That in itself is a violation of people's liberties.

Except that the response you get from Americans is "well, fuck it, as long as it's someone else's rights, who cares?".

Which more or less forces the rest of the world to decide that the rights of Americans isn't their damned problem. Because the rest of the world doesn't see their rights as secondary to those of Americans.

Re:Agreed. (4, Insightful)

bigpat (158134) | about 2 months ago | (#47476299)

Except that the response you get from Americans is "well, fuck it, as long as it's someone else's rights, who cares?".

Actually, the NSA is actively violating the constitutional rights of every single American by ordering all the companies we do business with to hand over all their records on us. It matters because when the rule of law, especially our fundamental rights, are not respected by those with the highest responsibility to uphold them, then the rule of law breaks down and then we get the rule of the strongest factions and the elimination of freedom for all. We might already be there, but I hope it is not too late to restore the rule of law without a new civil war or a new revolution.

The saying is incomplete (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47476193)

The road to hell may be paved with good intentions, but it's built by people waiting around for someone else "brave" or "smart" or "courageous" or "" enough to re-plot the course. Because guess what? No one or vanishingly few number of "brave" or "smart" or "courageous" men can achieve such a colossal course correction on their own.

Re:The saying is incomplete (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47476221)

Also: I just realized that perhaps this is why we need Lady Thor.

The U.N. Finds... (-1, Troll)

holostarr (2709675) | about 2 months ago | (#47475461)

And not a single flying fuck was given. U.N., what a joke...

Re:The U.N. Finds... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47475577)

And not a single flying fuck was given. U.N., what a joke...

Ah, the typical asshole American response.

The US helped form the UN. The US alternates between using the UN to further own ends, and decrying the UN if people refuse to blindly follow what the US wants.

Face it, the US has actively become the enemies of human rights and liberties over the last bunch of years.

The fact that you're a bunch of whiny, self-entitled cock-suckers who think you run the world is your problem.

The UN is a framework for countries to try to resolve issues diplomatically. Yes, it can be ineffective as blocs of countries drag their heels on stuff. But it's all we've got.

The US talks about international justice, but refuses to be a signatory to the ICC -- so that they can continue to commit war crimes and answer to nobody.

Fuck America. Fuck you.

You've become a banana republic with delusions of being the champions of rights and freedoms.

What a deluded bunch of assholes.

Re:The U.N. Finds... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47475611)

Calm down there, buddy. Not all of us Americans are freedom-hating, self-righteous morons.

Re:The U.N. Finds... (2, Insightful)

kuzb (724081) | about 2 months ago | (#47475733)

Except you don't run your country. He's angry at the people who do and I can't say that I blame him too much.

Re:The U.N. Finds... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47475823)

Seeing which politicians were electable and have been elected the last decade and a half, that must be a minority.

Re: The U.N. Finds... (2, Insightful)

C0R1D4N (970153) | about 2 months ago | (#47475723)

Become? Read your history. The federal govt was a force for good during a four year period 1942-45. Every other point in our history we have been bad guys. And even at our height of valor we nuked two cities.

Re: The U.N. Finds... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47475977)

Eisenhower was not all that bad.

Re: The U.N. Finds... (0)

oodaloop (1229816) | about 2 months ago | (#47476431)

There are no bad guys. There are no good guys. Life is not a Hollywood movie.

Re: The U.N. Finds... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47476665)

This. Sometimes people make poor decisions. At any time, though, they can start making good decisions. Understanding this is important for peace. Seems so obvious, but it's competing against an entrenched way of thinking from a long history of violent tribal interactions (that violence is justified against "bad guys").

Re: The U.N. Finds... (2, Informative)

aralin (107264) | about 2 months ago | (#47476459)

Read your history, they intentionally bled their allies out of all cash to become economic super power after the war and were pissed off they even have to join in 1942 because of the damn public opinion. Even so they delayed any serious military action until 1944, when it was basically over and they just came in the prevent Russia from taking over too much of Europe and protect their own interest and get a free piece of Germany. Not such a good guys the way I see it.

Re: The U.N. Finds... (1)

Megol (3135005) | about 2 months ago | (#47476571)

Bullshit. Good or bad is just a point of view. Nazis thought they were the divine force of good doing their historic duty to build civilizations and conquering the untermenchen that was created to serve as slave labor.
Both before, during and after the US (as well as all other states) did things most would now consider good and other things people now would consider outright evil.

Re: The U.N. Finds... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47476661)

Become? Read your history. The federal govt was a force for good during a four year period 1942-45. Every other point in our history we have been bad guys. And even at our height of valor we nuked two cities.

Tell that to US citizens of Japanese ancestry that were forced into internment camps and stripped of their rights and property for committing no crime.

Re:The U.N. Finds... (2, Insightful)

ElusiveJoe (1716808) | about 2 months ago | (#47476043)

the US has actively become the enemies of human rights and liberties over the last bunch of years.

Every government is the enemy of human rights and liberties.

Re:The U.N. Finds... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47476051)

Please don't confuse the US with the US government ... The US government is all those things you say ... the US are the people suffering under that government.

Re:The U.N. Finds... (1)

aralin (107264) | about 2 months ago | (#47476471)

Fuck you and your excuses. It's not us, it's them. Fuck you. Do something about it. It is done in your name so either accept the blame or make a change.

Re:The U.N. Finds... (1)

holostarr (2709675) | about 2 months ago | (#47476379)

First of all I'm not American, so much for assuming. Secondly, I just stated my feeling since how else is one suppose to feel about U.N. when they are essentially useless, I mean look at everything going on in places such as Gaza, Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Ukraine. I would love to believe that U.N. is some benevolent entity that punishes evil and fights for justice and equality, but that's just not the case.

Re:The U.N. Finds... (1)

kackle (910159) | about 2 months ago | (#47476551)

Fuck America. Fuck you.

You mean "Team America, fuck yeah!"

I'm just trying to add some levity; we know we suck.

Re:The U.N. Finds... (1)

khr (708262) | about 2 months ago | (#47475841)

U.N., what a joke...

In the future they'll just turn it into low rent housing anyway.

Gimme a f 'ing break (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47475473)

How about a hot poker up the ass or female genital mutilation. That's violating human rights, but the UN really doesn't have an issue with that.

Re:Gimme a f 'ing break (4, Informative)

Sique (173459) | about 2 months ago | (#47475725)

It does. It routinely condemns it.

Re:Gimme a f 'ing break (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47475883)

Neither does your country. In fact, your country has been a major sponsor in every single coup d'etat in the last 70 years. Civilian governments overthrown by military, so your putrid corporations could make the biggest profit out of a country... All in name of "our Nation's best interests". Or should we read it as "our businessmen's best interests"?

Now the joke in on you guys. All these corporations learned in those test cases in the third world is being put in practice in your own beloved "land of the brave". And yet most of you are happily waving a stupid flag between your butt cheeks, thinking you are victorious... While being fucked up your butts without any lube. Oh, yes, you can still buy a new 4KHD TV. Guess it's big enough to avoid the shit from coming off those abused assholes.

What made them decide to do this now? (4, Insightful)

Joe Gillian (3683399) | about 2 months ago | (#47475475)

I can understand very well why the UN might not have done this earlier - the US government would want to quash any positive PR for a man they consider to be a traitor, and I'm sure they can exert enough force on the UN to ensure this happens. I would not be at all surprised if that was why this report hadn't come out until now.

The question is, though, what made them decide to release it?

Re:What made them decide to do this now? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47475631)

Fact finding, discussion, bureaucracy, politicking, etc. Sure, it's been just over a year, but it likely had to do with the amount of push and pull the US has in the UN. If you want to accuse a juggernaut of wrong-doing, you had best be damn sure you're not alone, that your defense doesn't have obviously glaring holes in it, and that your allies will back you up.

I imagine the US will find some flaw in the report and try to shoot it down.

Re:What made them decide to do this now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47475663)

The question is, though, what made them decide to release it?

The scary implication is that the whole world is angry at us now, and even our "allies" (who we spy on anyways) are willing to admit it.

Ah, yes--the UN Declaration of Human Rights (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47475477)

This is the group that has declared paid time off to be a basic human right.
Human rights are things like freedom of religion, and the right to not be imprisoned for your political beliefs.
Sure, the things Snowden has accused the NSA of doing are violations of our civil rights, our constitutional rights. But not our human rights.

Re:Ah, yes--the UN Declaration of Human Rights (2, Insightful)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about 2 months ago | (#47475547)

The first 10 or so are noble, a rough analog of US rights. After that, it starts turning into this bizarre amalgam of a socialist wish list and rules deliberately violating the first 10 fir the purpose of preserving the status quo of those in power.

This item 12 is itself a great example, stating a right not to have one's reputation harmed. Intention: censorship of things which are true but which embarrass politicians, a concept foreign in a land with free speech.

Before downmodding me in quasi-censorship of censorship talk, go look up many examples...from nominally free democracies, forget about dictatorships.

Re:Ah, yes--the UN Declaration of Human Rights (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47475913)

Article 12:

"No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks."

it says we are free from attacks to our reputation not that we are free from having our reputation harmed by ourselves and then reported by someone else. harming ones own reputation and then having someone else report on what the individual has done is not an attack on their reputation. Article 12 references the ability for people not to be unjustly attacked not to be able to censor the world from their own mistakes. but i see how some people could interpret it the way you have.

its simply the difference between reporting events and libel. The truth is not an attack, it is the truth! it is the constant corruption that has been going on for generations that lead people to think backwards on this one.

Re:Ah, yes--the UN Declaration of Human Rights (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47475639)

In reality, much of the protection for people's freedom of religion, and against persecution for political beliefs, came directly from the fact that people in power didn't know what they were.

Now, they can, with unrestrained scope and specificity. Or, you can avoid that by never expressing either in any electronic medium, and self-censoring your beliefs.

So, technically, it is indeed different from being observed 24-hours a day and strip-searched at random by the "muscle" employed by the guy with the huge dossier on everything about your life, to be "selectively recounted" however desired to his notion of the "best" effect.

It just isn't practically different than such a direct overt violation of our human rights.

The United States Voted For That Declaration (5, Informative)

TrollstonButterbeans (2914995) | about 2 months ago | (#47475499)

In 1948, the United States voted for that declaration.

"n 10 December 1948, the Universal Declaration was adopted by the General Assembly by a vote of 48 in favor, none against"

This was the West announcing their idea of human rights.

(see Wikipedia)

The UN? Oh man... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47475507)

Oh shit, the UN said we did something bad. I'm sure the Administration will scream into high gear to appease them.

I mean, we all know how severe the penalties for crossing the UN are.

Re:The UN? Oh man... (1)

pnutjam (523990) | about 2 months ago | (#47475585)

Just wait until they get bobbles [wikipedia.org] .

The UN? Oh man... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47475675)

And you follow the law only because of the penalties and you shit all over everybodys place until there is some law that forbits it?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lawrence_Kohlberg%27s_stages_of_moral_development
Your stuck on level 1, and when someone mentions _the_ constitution then you may be level 4.

Re:The UN? Oh man... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47475887)

Business and government leaders operate on Level 1. Make of that what you will.

Big Deal (1)

Guy From V (1453391) | about 2 months ago | (#47475515)

Now if only the UN were a realistically competent and non-laughable organization this might actually matter in some way.

Big Deal (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47475719)

If only the USA would cede some power to the UN.

Re:Big Deal (3)

gstoddart (321705) | about 2 months ago | (#47475761)

As opposed to the US government, which is a model of competency and the ability to get something done?

Sorry, but if you have a better system for doing stuff, we're all ears.

If not ... well, then you have nothing of value to add here.

Re:Big Deal (1)

Guy From V (1453391) | about 2 months ago | (#47475953)

If only citizens of countries that are models of competency are allowed an opinion on the UN's competency then we would have approximately zero valid opinions.

Re:Big Deal (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about 2 months ago | (#47476025)

Your options are ... try to work together in a reasoned diplomatic process, or say fuck it and simply got to war.

Since the UN is the only mechanism for the former, what are your options?

Complaining that they're ineffective just points out problems which exist in all such bodies -- not everybody agrees with everybody else.

So, if you have a solution to the UN, you'll have a solution to all broken democracies.

But if you think you're doing any better, you're sadly mistaken. The UN is no more, or no less broken than any other organization made up of different entities with different views.

But this "oh, screw the UN, they're broken" is a statement made by people who have nothing better to offer, and are incapable of seeing the same problems in their own government.

Unless, of course, you think the solution is to simply decide that the US is in charge. And, well, that's not really a good solution to anything.

Re:Big Deal (1)

Guy From V (1453391) | about 2 months ago | (#47476249)

The UN is far from a democratic organization, it's problems lie with the leverage the permanent Security Council has over it and the stagnated idea that it is still 1945. I admit that just complaining that it sucks at it's job isn't constructive and also that I have no better alternatives other than a reform of the power structure of it's leadership - but I think most everyone knows that will not happen, so I guess I'm done here.

Re:Big Deal (1)

butchersong (1222796) | about 2 months ago | (#47476483)

The fact that at best they might be no more or less competent than any other organization is the best point you could make against them having too much influence though given their structure many myself included would argue even that level of compentency. Why must we consolidate the power of every nation in the world into one organization? Does that really seem like a good idea? At the moment the UN is basically a place for countries to natter on to one another and that is fine, there is a place for that but to cede a portion of sovereignty to the UN? No thanks. They can issue declarations and findings with no teeth to back them up, maybe spark some conversation... good for them but to give them too much credibility is dangerous. I much prefer many individual nations each answerable to its on citizenry. Some nations will misbehave some won't but at least you don't have a single point of failure.

Trading Places (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47475535)

I like it when the guy forced to dress up in a gorilla costume is forcibly caged with a supposedly real gorilla and they do a close up of the guy's eyes as he makes a sick sound like "MMMMPH!"

Un Gun Ban Treaty (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47475551)

This coming from a world organization that wants to ban American 2 Amendment Rights to own firearms and protect our lives and property. Sounds very selective towards promulgating agendas.

Likely Violated Human Rights? (1)

theVarangian (1948970) | about 2 months ago | (#47475567)

No shit....

Meanwhile in Russia... (1, Offtopic)

xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) | about 2 months ago | (#47475569)

It looks like Ivan just violated the human rights of about 300 people by blowing up their airliner.
http://www.reuters.com/article... [reuters.com]

Re:Meanwhile in Russia... (1)

aralin (107264) | about 2 months ago | (#47476539)

Hey, look there.... and puff, like that... he was gone.

So what is Russia going to do about it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47475573)

Annex Greece? You can annex it, Vlad, oh, yes, you can annex it.

Imagine what my body would sound like (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47475589)

"It's early morning
No one is awake
I'm back at my cliff
Still throwing things off
I listen to the sounds they make
On their way down
I follow with my eyes 'til they crash
Imagine what my body would sound like
Slamming against those rocks

When it lands
Will my eyes
Be closed or open?
"

as Kissinger once said (1)

cellocgw (617879) | about 2 months ago | (#47475633)

Well, to be fair, Kissinger inside a Doonesbury strip said, "I'm sick and tired of people asking about human rights. What do you want: human rights or world peace?"

harrumph

Re:as Kissinger once said (1)

msauve (701917) | about 2 months ago | (#47475713)

The US wouldn't be its own country if the founders hadn't valued rights above peace.

Re:as Kissinger once said (1)

cellocgw (617879) | about 2 months ago | (#47476023)

Whoosh. Do you know what Doonesbury is?

Re:as Kissinger once said (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47476059)

The US wouldn't be its own country if the founders hadn't valued rights above peace.

And it isn't its own country any more. In the tradition of middle American countries, the CIA and military installed its own dictatorship, thinly veiled under the guise of democratic procedures procuring sockpuppets that will be removed if they refuse dancing to the tune of their masters.

Re:as Kissinger once said (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47475955)

The same motherfucker who sponsored Salvador Allende's murder simply because US corporations wanted to own the copper mining business? Fuck him and his words. Oblivion is where it belongs, at best.

I'm sure (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47475643)

I'm sure it's just the NSA. I can't imagine China, Russia or heck, even England intercepting and collecting.
Can you?

Re:I'm sure (1)

kuzb (724081) | about 2 months ago | (#47475751)

It's not that they're not doing it - it's that they haven't been caught. Or at least, not caught on the same scale.

Re:I'm sure (1)

Sique (173459) | about 2 months ago | (#47475793)

I'm sure the NSA has the widest spread program to do so. No other country routinely collects all information of all people all over the world (though they claim not to collect the information about U.S. citizens under certain conditions). And for UK, they are already in conflict with the European High Court about collecting this information.

And at the same time, the NSA is the most useless organisation when it comes to fight domestic terrorism, as the only fact related to domestic terrorism they ever uncovered was a money transfer by a San Diego cab driver to a charity in Somalia which is considered a front to a terrorist organisation.

Hypocrites (3, Insightful)

Ralph Wiggam (22354) | about 2 months ago | (#47475697)

Let's take a look at the membership of the UN Human Rights Commission-

China
Kuwait
Pakistan
Russia
Saudi Arabia
UAE
Venezuela

Clearly these folks are qualified to tell other people about how important civil rights are.

Re:Hypocrites (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47476069)

This morning we learn a UN operated school has been used to conceal Hamas missiles in Gaza. [timesofisrael.com]

"We're SOOOOOOO sorry ............... We didn't know!!!"

"We'll ``investigate`` that right away!"

.... and cover up all the other cases we find.

The UN is the single most effective tyranny enabler on Earth. Millions of victims live under third world dictators and theocrats propped up by the UN.

The highly selective criticism of the US by the UN has no credibility with me.

Re:Hypocrites (3, Informative)

DigitalSorceress (156609) | about 2 months ago | (#47476345)

You're not listing the entire group membership

And you're mixing the human rights commission with the human rights council and cherrypicking from the bottom

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U... [wikipedia.org]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U... [wikipedia.org]

Just because some nations with less than stellar reputations themselves are on the council and/or commission does not automatically invalidate their mission or what the UN commission / council have to say.

I understand the worry of "putting the fox in charge of the hen house" but one could put it another way: Even these countries see we (the US) is being hypocritical and violating human rights.

Re:Hypocrites (1)

Ralph Wiggam (22354) | about 2 months ago | (#47476485)

The fact that those countries were allowed into any human rights group shows what a worthless joke the UN has become.

Re:Hypocrites (1)

Megol (3135005) | about 2 months ago | (#47476633)

You forgot US (supporting torture, executions etc.).

But this kind of excessive black/white thinking can be an indication of a mental disorder. Not in your case though, it seems you are simply incapable of formulating the question (nor the answer to it): what is the best existing global organization to make such a declaration?

And in other news ... (1)

johnlcallaway (165670) | about 2 months ago | (#47476081)

... the UN will continue to be inconsequential in any affairs other than sucking funds from wealthy countries and offering crazy world leaders a place to get publicity.

You don't say? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47476427)

No shit, Sherlock.

Fuck you Slashdot. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47476441)

Apparently I am welcome to use the classic interface as long as I don't want to read about this story. Fuck you.

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