Published June 13, 2013
GENEVA – Senior officials attending an international conference on counterterrorism have raised privacy complaints in the wake of revelations about America's sweeping electronic surveillance programs.
The U.N.'s top human rights official, Navi Pillay, says her office has received concerns about "surveillance regimes adopted by some states without adequate safeguards to protect individuals' right to privacy."
At the start of a U.N. conference Thursday in Geneva, Pillay added surveillance to the list of repressive measures such as extrajudicial killings and torture that "stifle the voices of human rights defenders, journalists, minorities and indigenous peoples" and that she says must not be carried out in the name of counterterrorist operations.
Swiss Foreign Minister Didier Burkhalter says Switzerland rejects subjecting honest citizens "to constant surveillance by governments, with all the abuses that this may bring."