NSA Spying Challenged in the United Nations

by Vins
Published: Last Updated on

The National Security Agency’s global spying activities have prompted 21 countries to pursue a resolution at the United Nations against the United States. Brazil and Germany presented this resolution to the General Assembly, appealing to the right to privacy enshrined in the international Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

This resolution would be the first international effort aimed at restraining the spy agency’s surveillance programs against other nations. UN members are deeply concerned by human rights violations and abuses that may result from the conduct of surveillance or interception of communications in foreign jurisdictions. Illegal surveillance of private conversations violates the rights to freedom of expression and privacy.

Citizens of nations around the world responded with anger when The Guardian revealed that the NSA has illegally been eavesdropping on 35 world leaders. The UN resolution is expected to be presented to the UN General Assembly human rights committee before the end of the 2013.


Colum Lynch, Shane Harris, John Hudson, “Exclusive: Germany, Brazil Turn to U.N. to Restrain American Spies,” Foreign Policy, October 24, 2013, http://thecable.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2013/10/24/exclusive_germany_brazil_turn_to_un_to_restrain_american_spies.

“21 Nations United Nations Resolution Against the US for Spying on World Leaders,” Press TV, October 27, 2013, http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2013/10/27/331519/nations-after-resolution-against-us-spying/.

Student Researcher: Olivia Moir (Sonoma State University)

Faculty Evaluator: Debora Paterniti (Sonoma State University)