Last week the U.N. Human Rights Committee issued a report on surveillance practices for seven countries, including “Five Eyes” members US, Canada and the United Kingdom. In the conclusions the Committee strongly condemned the use of surveillance as a violation of the right to privacy.
Access, along with partners at the Brennan Center for Justice and Amnesty International, made a submission to the U.N. Human Rights Committee responding to the follow-up to the recommendations the Committee had made to the U.S. on how to curb the unlawful surveillance conducted by the U.S. National Security Agency.
You can find the Human Rights Committee’s concluding observations in full here.
The UN human rights committee, a body of 18 international experts who monitor the implementation of the international covenant on Civil and political rights, issued a series of recommendations for UK to review its counter-terrorism legislation.
The report raised concerns that the current legal regime governing the interception of communications and data “allows for mass interception” and “lacks sufficient safeguards against arbitrary interference with the right to privacy”.
The constitutional council approved the surveillance bill, a law that gives new spying powers to intelligence agencies. The Socialist government justified the bill, which allows intelligence agencies to tap phones and emails, and hack computers without permission from a judge, in the wake of terrorist attacks in Paris in January. The bill was passed in June by an overwhelming number of French MPs, despite opposition from green and far-left parliamentarians and human rights activists.
In a report published on Friday, the 18-strong United Nations committee for human rights warned that the surveillance powers granted to French intelligence agencies were “excessively broad”.