UN human rights committee report criticises US over privacy impacts of surveillance programme & failure to prosecute private contractors for torture
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Author: Spencer Ackerman, Guardian (UK)
Nearly 10 months after the Guardian exposed the controversial program, based on leaks from Edward Snowden, President Obama announced that he would seek legislation that would require the NSA to seek an individual order from the secret Fisa court before phone companies turn over data on their customers..."I have decided that the best path forward is that the government should not collect or hold this data in bulk," Obama said in a statement. "Instead, the data should remain at the telephone companies for the length of time it currently does today."...Privacy groups also expressed wariness that Obama’s proposals on Thursday only covered phone data. “This raises the possibility that the government could collect other types of information in bulk, including internet metadata, location information and financial transactions,” said Harley Geiger of the Center for Democracy and Technology.
Author: Matthew Weaver, Guardian (UK)
The UN has delivered a withering verdict on the US's human rights record, raising concerns on a series of issues including torture, drone strikes, the failure to close Guantánamo Bay and the NSA's bulk collection of personal data. The report was delivered by the UN's human rights committee in an assessment of how the US is complying with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights...It said the collection of the contents of communications from US-based companies under the Prism program had an adverse impact on the right to privacy. It added that the legal oversight of such programs had largely been kept secret and failed to protect the rights of those affected. The UN committee urged the US to overhaul its surveillance activities to ensure they complied with US law and conformed to US obligations under the ICCPR...[T]he committee also criticised the US for failing to prosecute senior members of its armed forces and private contractors involved in torture and targeted killings.