The right to privacy and communication privacy

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Communication privacy The right to privacy is considered such a basic concept in many international or regional laws so that to prevent or limit either government or individual’s actions from invading other people’s privacy. But governmental organizations such as the NSA, CIA, and GCHQ assign mass surveillance program in all corners of the world. PRISM is a typical task. MYSTIC and other actions organized by NATO-member states are also designed to collect abundant data based on some internal secrets or even private phone calls of a lot of normal civilians. The conductors of these programs stated that they were established for defense and law enforcements; however this also varies from laws that advocated people’s right to privacy, such as constitutions and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The privacy right therefore has become an urgent social problem since it damages the established need for each country to send spies to other countries to maintain their powerful role and usually based on a political purpose. During the thousand years of time, few trials were made to define or make the meaning of the right to privacy more clearly or precisely. But as now unanimously agreed at, the right to privacy is our right to keep a private range around us, including all those things that are part of us, such as our body, home, property, thoughts, feelings, legal secrets and identity. The right to privacy allows us to choose which parts in this domain can be known by others, and to control the extent, manner and timing of the use of those parts we choose to show out. Communication privacy is definitely an important embranchment under the right to privacy. The United Nation has played a crucial role in the global process of standardizing the protection of the right to privacy, enacting series of international treaties or laws to ensure that every country was making the relationship between right and obligations clear. Some of the international treaties are: I. Universal Declaration of Human Rights 10 December 1948 was a special day for the Universal Declaration of Human rights (UDHR) because it was formally adopted by the United States at the Palais de Chaillot, Paris. The Declaration was the first global statement to which all human beings were entitled, according to the direct opinion people gained during the World War II. In order to mark this meaningful commemoration, 10 December each year was set as Human Rights Day or International Human Rights Day. The article 12 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights suggests: “No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honor and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.” This article is the rudimentary and most important source of all international laws associated with the protection of the right to privacy, including private life, family, housing and communication as the basic components of the right to privacy. All the principles mentioned here can be viewed as part of customary international law. II. International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) is a multilateral treaty adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1966, and in force from 1976. It commits its parties to respect the civil and political rights of individuals, including the right to life, freedom about religion, speech, assembly, electoral rights and rights to due process and a fair trial. As in 2014, the Covenant has 74 signatories and 168 parties. The article 17, part III of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights claims: “1. No one shall be subjected to arbitrary or unlawful interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to unlawful attacks on his honor and reputation.” The stipulation here is similar to the article 12 in the previous reclamation, reemphasizing the importance of protecting the right to privacy of civilians. Some of the regional multilateral treaties are: I. European Convention on Human Rights The European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) (formally the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms) is an international treaty to protect human rights and fundamental freedoms in Europe. Drafted in 1950 by the then newly formed Council of Europe. The convention entered into force in 1953. All Council of Europe member states are party to the Convention and new members are expected to ratify the convention at the earliest opportunity. The article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights announces: “1. Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence. 2. There shall be no interference by a public authority with the exercise of this right except such as is in accordance with the law and is necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security, public safety or the economic well-being of the country, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.” According to the convention, the right to privacy should be protected in Europe. Unless under legal condition, it cannot be interfered, limited or deprived. II. The American Convention on Human Rights is an international human rights instrument. In 1969, this instrument was accepted by a lot of nations in the Western hemisphere. However, not until 1978 did it come into force when the eleventh instrument of ratification was deposited. The bodies responsible for overseeing compliance with the Convention are the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, both of which are organs of the Organization of American States (OAS). The article 11 of the American Convention on Human Rights says: “2. No one may be the object of arbitrary or abusive interference with his private life, his family, his home, his correspondence, or of unlawful attacks on his honor or reputation. 3. Everyone has the right to have the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.” This shows that the protection of civilian’s right to privacy is also an obligation of American countries and the range of protection is generally the same as the international laws. References:
  1. “Right to privacy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.” Wikipedia. 24 Nov. 2014. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Right_to_privacy>.
  2. “The Universal Declaration of Human Rights.” United Nations. 24 Nov. 2014. <http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/index.shtml/>
  3. “Privacy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia” Wikipedia. 28 Nov. 2014. <http://www.hrcr.org/docs/American_Convention/oashr4.html>
  4. “Convention for the Protection of Human Rights.” Council of Europe. 07 Dec. 2014. <http://www.conventions.coe.int/Treaty/en/Treaties/Html/005.htm>
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