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No privacy, no effective democracy

No privacy, no effective democracy

Pres Rousseff at the United Nations
Pres Rousseff at the United Nations

Without privacy, other key freedoms also disappear, and democracy itself disintegrates, Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff has told the UN. She has called for a new UN-run internet.

No privacy, no effective democracy

Brazil‘s president Dilma Rousseff has launched a blistering attack on US espionage at the UN general assembly, accusing the US National Security Agency of violating international law by indiscriminate collection personal information of Brazilian citizens and economic espionage targeted on the country’s strategic industries.

Rousseff’s angry speech was a direct challenge to President Barack Obama.

She delivered it while he was literally waiting in the wings to deliver his own address to the UN general assembly.

Her outburst, in which she voiced the muted concerns of many other nations, was a direct result of the revelations by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

“As many other Latin Americans, I fought against authoritarianism and censorship and I cannot but defend, in an uncompromising fashion, the right to privacy of individuals and the sovereignty of my country,” the Brazilian president said.

Rousseff was imprisoned and tortured for her role in a guerilla movement opposed to Brazil’s military dictatorship in the 1970s.

“In the absence of the right to privacy, there can be no true freedom of expression and opinion, and therefore no effective democracy.

“In the absence of the respect for sovereignty, there is no basis for the relationship among nations.”

Rousseff called on the UN oversee a new global legal system to govern the internet.

She said such multilateral mechanisms should guarantee the “freedom of expression, privacy of the individual and respect for human rights” and the “neutrality of the network, guided only by technical and ethical criteria, rendering it inadmissible to restrict it for political, commercial, religious or any other purposes.           Rousseff’s UN speech

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