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Germany, Brazil to Draft UN Resolution about US Spy Allegations

  • VOA News

The U.S. flag flies on top of the U.S. embassy in front of the Reichstag building that houses the German Parliament, Bundestag, in Berlin, Germany, Oct. 25, 2013.

The U.S. flag flies on top of the U.S. embassy in front of the Reichstag building that houses the German Parliament, Bundestag, in Berlin, Germany, Oct. 25, 2013.

Germany and Brazil say they are working on a draft United Nations General Assembly resolution that would guarantee people's privacy in electronic communications.

U.N. diplomats involved said German and Brazilian diplomats met with counterparts from Europe and Latin America Friday to discuss the resolution.

The action follows a series of reports of alleged U.S. eavesdropping on foreign leaders and others that has surprised and angered allies.

The resolution would call for extending the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights to Internet activities, but would not mention the United States.

Germany has been angered by alleged U.S. eavesdropping on Chancellor Angela Merkel's cellphone. Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff canceled a trip to the United States last month over allegations the National Security Agency intercepted her office's communications.

The General Assembly resolution would be nonbinding, but seen as another expression of disapproval of the alleged U.S. spying.

Germany also said the heads of its intelligence agencies would travel to the United States shortly to meet with officials at the White House and National Security Agency. In addition, European Union lawmakers said they were meeting with U.S. officials soon to discuss the spying allegations.

A German newspaper said Friday that the alleged spying on Merkel's phone may have been conducted out of the U.S. embassy in Berlin, which is located less than a kilometer from the German chancellery.

French President Francois Hollande has demanded a U.S. explanation, saying the American spying must stop.

"There are some behaviors and practices that cannot be accepted. Considering the level and extent of surveillance that has been led by American services, as it happens, and given this can apply to all citizens, including a number of European leaders, we need to put an end to it and there is a clarification required," he said.

Meanwhile, a prominent U.S. newspaper, The Washington Post, said U.S. officials were warning some foreign intelligence services that documents obtained by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden detail their secret cooperation with Washington.
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