Surveillance

US Working to Scuttle UN Talks on Online Privacy

Not a right, American government insists

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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.

The diplomatic battle is playing out in an obscure U.N. General Assembly committee that is considering a proposal by Brazil and Germany to place constraints on unchecked internet surveillance by the National Security Agency and other foreign intelligence services. American representatives have made it clear that they won't tolerate such checks on their global surveillance network. The stakes are high, particularly in Washington—which is seeking to contain aninternational backlash against NSA spying — and in Brasilia, where Brazilian President Dilma Roussef is personally involved in monitoring the U.N. negotiations.

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