560 international writers--including five Nobel Laureates--have signed an appeal asking the United Nations to enact an International Bill of Digital Rights. Individual privacy and the freedom to communicate "unobserved and unmolested" underpin any real democracy, the writers assert. They call on governments and corporations to respect this essential individual right. Surveillance "compromises freedom of thought." Surveillance is "theft."
From the appeal: “This fundamental human right has been rendered null and void through abuse of technological developments by states and corporations for mass surveillance purposes. Surveillance violates the private sphere and compromises freedom of thought and opinion. Mass surveillance treats every citizen as a potential suspect. It overturns one of our historical triumphs: the presumption of innocence.” (The writers are from 80 countries.)
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