#CyberFLASH: Mass surveillance killing Internet privacy, UN report says

internet_spying.jpg.size.xxlarge.letterboxIn the UN’s most sweeping report targeting mass electronic surveillance, counter terrorism envoy Ben Emmerson says widespread use of the technology by intelligence agencies signals the death knell of privacy on the Internet.

“The hard truth is that the use of mass surveillance technology effectively does away with the right to privacy of communications on the Internet altogether,” says the 22-page document, which was tabled this week.

It warned of “purpose creep” that allows authorities to justify scooping of data on grounds of counter-terrorism, when the information is actually used for “much less weighty” purposes.

Mass surveillance, it said, is a violation of the UN’s 1966 Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which was endorsed by the U.S., Canada and other members of the “Five Eyes” data-sharing alliance of Western security services.

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