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CSOs Greeted the Adoption of UN Resolution on Privacy on the Internet

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SHARE Defense - SHARE Foundation and Partners for Democratic Changes Serbia greeted the adoption by the UN General Assembly of the Draft-Resolution of the UN General Assemblz on Privacy in the Digital Age, proposed by Germany and Brazil. The organisations, with support by 31 other CSOs from Serbia, earlier appealed, in a letter sent to the Government of Serbia last Thursday, November 21, 2013, to support the Draft-Resolution.

"The Resolution aims, 25 years after the last similar effort, to advance the international standards for protection of rights to privacy. Mass clandestine surveillance of electronic communications largely threatens human rights, and especially the right to privacy and freedom of expression", the SHARE Foundation says.

SHARE Defense – SHARE Foundation and Partners for Democratic Changes Serbia believe that the draft-Resolution, the first document in that area considered by the UN since 1988, offers the states an excellent opportunity to improve their understanding of international human rights law in the context of enormous technological advances over the past 25 years.

The organizations add that if addopted, the Draft-Resolution would mean that the UN General Assembly accepted the obligation to announce “its deepest concerns about the violations of human rights and abuses that could emerge in the implementation of any sort of surveillance of communications”.

The resolution also emphasizes the importance that privacy has on the efforts to facilitate greater respect for freedom of expression, and by extension, to securing democratic governance.

“The illegal surveillance and interception of communications, as well as the illegal collection and retention of personal data constitute an extremely intrusive actions that interfere in the right to privacy and freedom of expression and could undermine the very foundations of a democratic society", states the letter sent to the Government of Serbia.

Noting that the Draft arose from the discontent that many countries and other actors expressed after the recent revelations about mass surveillance of people all over the world, the organizations that endorsed this initiative believe that it offers Serbia a chance to demonstrate that it is interested to take a stand against mass surveillance and to continue to protect human rights, freedom of expression and privacy, the keystones of Serbian Constitution, in spite of the advancement of surveillance technology.

“We hope that you will join Germany and Brazil and support their resolution, which would be a great step towards the creation of an international consensus to ensure that communications surveillance would be conducted only in accordance with the human rights protection framework", the SHARE Foundation and Partners for Democratic Changes Serbia say.

The SHARE Foundation announced the launch of an online platform in which individual citizens will be able to support the demands to stop with mass surveillance of communications and respect digital rights.

The full  text of the letter sent to the Minsitry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Foreign and Internal Trade and Telecommunications, Ministry of Culture and Information, the Ministry of Justice and State Administration, and Serbian Ambassador to the UN, is available on the website of the SHARE Foundation, where you can also find the full list of organisations that endorsed the appeal. (Source: SHARE Defense - SHARE Foundation)

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