The United Nations' special rapporteur on counterterrorism and human rights has found that mass electronic surveillance does away with the right to privacy, The Intercept's Glenn Greenwald reports: "In concluding that mass surveillance impinges core privacy rights, the report was primarily focused on the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, a treaty enacted by the General Assembly in 1966, to which all of the members of the “Five Eyes” alliance are signatories. The U.S. ratified the treaty in 1992, albeit with various reservations that allowed for the continuation of the death penalty and which rendered its domestic law supreme. With the exception of the U.S.’s Persian Gulf allies (Saudi Arabia, UAE and Qatar), virtually every major country has signed the treaty."
The rapporteur found that no country has demonstrated with evidence that mass surveillance is necessary. The report also rejected the argument that mass surveillance is justified because there is more protection for Americans than there is for foreigners, Greenwald reports: "'Article 26 of the Covenant prohibits discrimination on grounds of, inter alia, nationality and citizenship. The Special Rapporteur thus considers that States are legally obliged to afford the same privacy protection for nationals and non-nationals and for those within and outside their jurisdiction.'"