BRICS nations have strongly condemned US snooping (without naming US) on people and countries, including several world leaders, which has raised hackles around the world. ‘We strongly condemn acts of mass electronic surveillance and data collection of individuals all over the world, as well as violation of the sovereignty of States and of human rights, in particular the right to privacy,’Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa said in a Joint Declaration issued after their Sixth Summit in Brazil yesterday. Revelations by Edward Snowden that the National Security Agency (NSA) of the US had snooped on many world leaders and countries, including India, had created outrage around the world. Snowden, a former US National Security Agency (NSA) contractor, now lives in Russia after fleeing the US and having revealed internet and phone surveillance by US intelligence. Brazil President Dilma Rousseff cancelled a scheduled visit to the US in protest against US snooping on her personal communications.
The Declaration said Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) should provide instruments to foster sustainable economic progress and social inclusion, working together with the ICT industry, civil society and academia to realise the ICT-related potential opportunities and benefits for all.
It said particular attention should be given to young people and small and medium-sized enterprises, to promote international exchange and cooperation, as well as fostering innovation, ICT research and development.
The use and development of ICTs through international cooperation and universally accepted norms and principles of international law was of paramount importance to ensure a peaceful, secure and open digital and Internet space, it said.
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