Interactive Dialogue on OHCHR Report on Privacy
Statement by the Delegation of the United States of America
As Delivered by Ambassador Michèle Taylor
Human Rights Council – 51st Session
Thank you, Mr. Vice President.
The United States recognizes the role surveillance technologies can play in helping to protect public safety and national security.
At the same time, we share concerns about the improper use of certain technologies in a manner inconsistent with international human rights law.
This is especially acute with respect to the proliferation of commercial “spyware,” which certain governments have purchased on the commercial market and use for unlawful or abusive purposes.
In many cases, policies and safeguards in certain countries have not kept pace with the rapid proliferation of these technologies. Important information regarding the companies that license these “spyware” tools – about their customers, compliance regimes, and business practices – is often hidden from view.
Meanwhile, many governments inappropriately deploy these tools in unlawful and arbitrary ways to target journalists, activists, opposition leaders, members of marginalized communities, and others.
We reiterate the importance of protecting human rights, including those related to privacy, online and offline and we are grateful to OHCHR for keeping pace with this rapidly evolving issue.
Question: How can rights-respecting governments best work together to confront the growing misuse of surveillance technologies?
I thank you.