Criminal LawHuman RightsUN expert: US e-mail surveillance raises human rights concerns

10 Οκτωβρίου 20160


David Kaye, the top UN expert on free expression, stated [press release] Friday that reports that Yahoo allowed the US government to search hundreds of millions of customers’ e-mails “raise serious human rights concerns.” According to recent reports [NYT report], Yahoo is alleged to have created software to scan all incoming e-mail for specific criteria provided by either the US National Security Agency (NSA) or FBI. Kaye expressed his concerns that the alleged e-mail surveillance meets “the standards of necessity and proportionality for the protection of legitimate government interests.” Kaye acknowledged “[s]tates place undeniable pressures on the private information and communication technology sector that often lead to serious restrictions on the freedom of expression,” but said that those companies have varying degrees of leverage in their relationships with the government and should exercise this leverage so as to “resist or mitigate the harm caused by the abusive application of the law.” In closing, Kaye said companies like Yahoo should be evaluated in regards to the steps they take to promote freedom of expression, even in circumstances where promoting that right is difficult.

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