UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, comments on alleged mass surveillance programmes

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, said on Friday that the situation of Edward Snowden and alleged large-scale violations of the right of privacy by surveillance programmes raise a number of important international human rights issues which need to be addressed, noting: “While concerns about national security and criminal activity may justify the exceptional and narrowly-tailored use of surveillance programmes, surveillance without adequate safeguards to protect the right to privacy actually risk impacting negatively on the enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms.”
Pillay further noted: “Both Article 12 of the Universal Declaration of Human rights and Article 17 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political rights state that no one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with one’s privacy, family, home or correspondence, and that everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.”
For more information please see the full press release at the OHCHR: