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UN GA draft resolution against Internet spying to be considered November 26

November 22, 2013, 13:24 UTC+3 UNITED NATIONS
After the approval of the document in the Third Committee it will be considered at a plenary session of the General Assembly
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© EPA/PETER FOLEY

UNITED NATIONS, November 22. /ITAR-TASS/. The draft resolution on protection against electronic spying in the Internet has been coordinated and will be considered at a meeting of the Third Committee of the UN General Assembly on November 26, a representative of a country that cosponsored the document told Itar-Tass.

He said that, over the course of two-week consultations, “certain changes and additions were introduced to the draft resolution, but its main elements remained unchanged.” “They are the protection of online privacy both at national and international levels, as well as an appeal to the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) with a request to draft a report on this issue next year,” the source said.

According to previous media reports, the United States, the global electronic surveillance program of which was revealed by former National Security Agency (NSA) employee, leaker Edward Snowden, had been strongly pressing for changing the wording of the draft resolution. In particular, Washington was dissatisfied with the fact that the document mentioned extraterritorial surveillance and stated that it might violate human rights. The latter clause was somewhat softened, however — the final draft says that such intelligence programs “may influence the exercise of human rights.”

The source advised the resolution’s critics to look at the situation “from the viewpoint of a potential victim of such surveillance.” “It makes no difference for the victim if his own government or the US intelligence is spying on him. In any case, his privacy is violated,” the diplomat said.

According to him, the cosponsors of the resolution had no doubt that the document would be adopted. “The point is whether we are able to adopt it by consensus — in this case we will send a stronger message about the inadmissibility of invasion of privacy,” he noted.

After the approval of the document in the Third Committee it will be considered at a plenary session of the General Assembly the date of which has not yet been set. However, in case of a successful vote on November 26, the voting on it in the GA will be a formality.

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