Germany and Brazil introduced the resolution following a series of reports of US surveillance, interception, and data collection abroad, including on Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, that surprised and angered friends and allies.
The resolution ‘affirms that the same rights that people have offline must also be protected online, including the right to privacy’.
It calls on the 193 UN member states "to respect and protect the right to privacy, including in the context of digital communication," to take measures to end violations of those rights, and to prevent such violations including by ensuring that national legislation complies with international human rights law.
It also calls on all countries "to review their procedures, practises and legislation regarding the surveillance of communications, their interception and collection of personal data, including mass surveillance, interception and collection, with a view to upholding the right to privacy of all their obligations under international human rights law."
The resolution calls on UN members to establish or maintain independent and effective oversight methods to ensure transparency, when appropriate, and accountability for state surveillance of communications, their interception and collection of personal data.
General Assembly resolutions are not legally binding but they do reflect world opinion and carry political weight. Brazil’s Rousseff cancelled a state visit to Washington after classified documents leaked by former National Security Agency analyst Edward Snowden. The documents revealed Brazil is the top NSA target in Latin America, with spying that has included the monitoring of Rousseff's cellphone and hacking into the internal network of state-run oil company Petrobras.


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