Microsoft calls for international convention on digital surveillance


by CBR Staff Writer| 23 January 2014

Also demands new international measures to safeguard human rights and individual privacy.

Microsoft is calling for an international convention to formulate surveillance and data-access rules across borders over government access to consumer data in the wake of NSA surveillance activities.

The software major has also proposed new international measures to safeguard human rights and individual privacy.

Microsoft general counsel and executive vice president of legal and corporate affairs Brad Smith said that while there is no alternative for American leadership and action on these issues, now is the time for a broader international conversation.

"The issues of the last year have reminded the world that the strong protections afforded by the US Constitution and in US law seldom apply to other countries' citizens," Smith said.

"In addition, we've all been reminded that surveillance takes place by governments internationally.

"And as industry reports make clear, governments around the world demand access to customer data.

"As a result, we need to broaden the topic and bring together governments to create a new international legal framework."

The convention, which should respect human rights and individual privacy, also has to assure that governments ask for data regarding the private citizens of the other participating nations through legal policies and due process.

Microsoft also proposed establishment of new procedures in support of public safety that facilitate sensible access to information while assuring appropriate privacy safety for individuals.

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