Subscribe / Unsubscribe Enewsletters | Login | Register

Pencil Banner

Human rights commission questions NSA surveillance

Grant Gross | Oct. 29, 2013
Members of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights ask about the limits of NSA spying.

The NSA programs are reviewed by Congress and surveillance requests approved by a special Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, defenders of the programs have argued. People living outside the U.S. have no legal protections to privacy under the U.S. Constitution, defenders have noted.

The NSA's surveillance of hundreds of millions of foreign telephone calls and Internet communications raises legitimate questions about a global right to privacy, said Alex Abdo, a staff attorney with the ACLU National Security Project. The NSA programs targeting people overseas allow the agency to collect any communication related broadly to foreign intelligence, not just terrorism, he said.

The NSA programs' goals are to "make virtually every international communication fair game for surveillance," Abdo said. "Simply put, if every country were to engage in surveillance as unfettered as the NSA's, we would soon live in a world of pervasive monitoring."

If every country would share surveillance information as much as the U.S. does, "there would be no refuge for the world's dissidents, journalists and human rights defenders," he added.

Abdo asked the commission to adopt recommendations that the U.S. respect long-established international rights to privacy and free expression.

 

Previous Page  1  2 

Sign up for CIO Asia eNewsletters.