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UN Report Finds NSA Mass Surveillance Likely Violated Human Rights 261

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the silly-human-rights-are-for-robots dept.
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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UN Report Finds NSA Mass Surveillance Likely Violated Human Rights

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  • Agreed. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 17, 2014 @11:04AM (#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).

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 17, 2014 @11:06AM (#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.

  • by Joe Gillian (3683399) on Thursday July 17, 2014 @11:06AM (#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?

  • by Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) on Thursday July 17, 2014 @11:13AM (#47475547) Journal

    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.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 17, 2014 @11:15AM (#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.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 17, 2014 @11:15AM (#47475565)
    Remember when the UN complained about Guantanamo Bay? Well, this is similar.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 17, 2014 @11:16AM (#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.

  • by JMJimmy (2036122) on Thursday July 17, 2014 @11:18AM (#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.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 17, 2014 @11:25AM (#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.

  • Hypocrites (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Ralph Wiggam (22354) on Thursday July 17, 2014 @11:28AM (#47475697) Homepage

    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.

  • by C0R1D4N (970153) on Thursday July 17, 2014 @11:30AM (#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.
  • by kuzb (724081) on Thursday July 17, 2014 @11:31AM (#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:Agreed. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) on Thursday July 17, 2014 @11:31AM (#47475741) Journal

    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. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jeIIomizer (3670945) on Thursday July 17, 2014 @11:44AM (#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.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 17, 2014 @11:47AM (#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.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 17, 2014 @11:50AM (#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.

  • by ElusiveJoe (1716808) on Thursday July 17, 2014 @11:57AM (#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:Agreed. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by gstoddart (321705) on Thursday July 17, 2014 @12:00PM (#47476085) Homepage

    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. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bigpat (158134) on Thursday July 17, 2014 @12:20PM (#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.

  • by Blue Stone (582566) on Thursday July 17, 2014 @02:01PM (#47477263) Homepage Journal

    The founders of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights had, at the time, just faced down a global fascist hegemony, which made those rights seem just and proper and self-evident for great peace and wellbeing.

    Now those founding states are becoming a global fascists hegemony ... they're not so keen on them.

    Quelle suprise! :)

  • by Immerman (2627577) on Thursday July 17, 2014 @02:07PM (#47477301)

    Does the US Constitution specifically grant the government the power to interfere in X? If not then doing so is unconstitutional, because the constitution explicitly states (repeatedly, in several different ways) that the federal government has *only* those powers granted to it by the constitution. Which is why something as simple as banning alcohol required a constitutional amendment. You can thank legal gymnasts and an apathetic population for the steady expansion of federal powers beyond what has been explicitly granted. For example: despite the fact that Prohibition required a constitutional amendment to implement, the Supreme Court held that a similar ban on on marijuana was constitutional because it could theoretically be sold across state lines, and thus the federal government's legitimately granted power to regulate interstate commerce could be applied, even against individuals growing small quantities for their own consumption. You really want to tell me that's not a load of power-mongering BS? That line of reasoning gives the federal government control over *all* commerce within the US, completely gutting the initial restriction of only regulating interstate commerce without ever having to get a pesky constitutional amendment passed to expand it's powers.

  • Re:No (Score:4, Insightful)

    by dryeo (100693) on Thursday July 17, 2014 @08:31PM (#47479561)

    Of course most of them would have tolerated this as long as it was being used against loyalists or any of the sub-human types, read up on how the colonists who were not in favour of revolution were treated. Just like now, what they wouldn't tolerate was this being used on them.

Entropy isn't what it used to be.

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