The Brennan Center and seven other privacy and civil liberties groups have called on the State Department to affirm the U.S.'s commitment to privacy protections in their upcoming report to the UN Human Rights Council, in advance of the Council’s Universal Periodic Review of the U.S.’s human rights record in May 2015. In a letter, the Brennan Center and its allies urge the U.S. to acknowledge their responsibility to safeguard the privacy of communications within the government’s power and effective control, regardless of the point of interception. The letter also calls on authorities to identify the steps the American government plans to take to bring its surveillance activities in compliance with domestic and international law. The letter follows a report submitted by the Brennan Center and associated groups to the Council, which provided an overview of the NSA’s dragnet surveillance operations and their impact on rights to privacy and free expression for people around the world.
The letter is a joint collaboration between the Brennan Center, Access, American Civil Liberties Union, Amnesty International, Center for Democracy and Technology, Human Rights Watch, PEN American Center, and Privacy International.