Brazil and Germany are beefing up inclusion of  ‘metadata collection’ to an earlier UN resolution on digital spying, which condemns mass surveillance, digital communication interception and personal data collection as violation of human rights.
“As the universal guardian of human rights, the United Nations must play a key role in defending the right to privacy, as well as freedom of opinion and expression in our digital world,” said Harald Braun, Germany‘s UN Ambassador, in a statement.
In a follow-up resolution adopted last November, the two countries drafting the current resolution have modified the text to include metadata collection.

Unlawful or arbitrary surveillance, interception of communications and collection of personal data, including metadata, are ‘highly intrusive acts,’ said the draft.
Metadata refer to details about communications such as telephone numbers involved in a call, time and duration of call, and internet activities.
These acts violate the right to privacy and when operated on a mass scale contradict the tenets of a democratic society, said the draft.
It called upon the 193-member assembly to declare that it is “deeply concerned at human rights violations and abuses that may result from the conduct of any surveillance of communications.”
It sought an effective remedy from the states on mass surveillance and urged the Geneva-based UN Human Rights Council to appoint a rapporteur to identify and define privacy rights protection standards.
The Third Committee of UN General Assembly will vote on the draft this month, while the resolution will be voted in December.
Although General Assembly resolutions are non-binding, they do carry political weight.
Last year, the assembly adopted a resolution by consensus to end excessive electronic surveillance, which harms human rights.
The 2013 resolution, also drafted by Germany and Brazil following Snowden’s exposure ofNSA global spying program, was passed last year by consensus and was supported by the Five Eyes Surveillance Alliance (USA, Britain, Australia, Canada and New Zealand).
Germany and Brazil have both been angered by large scale US-surveillance allegations. German Chancellor, Angela Merkel’s irritation was quite obvious at the EU summit last week when she said spying on friends is “really not on.”
However, a senior UN diplomat, on condition of anonymity, said this year’s draft is highly contentious and unjustified.
He added it may undergo voting rather than being passed by consensus because it aims to create a “stronger environment against possible intelligence agencies activities than exists in existing treating.”


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