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Experts call for efforts to curb U.S. cyber surveillance
July 12,2021   By:CGTN
July 12, 2021 -- Experts attending a seminar via video link under the 47th Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council called for global efforts to curb the large-scale cyber surveillance conducted by the U.S. on other countries.
Nine experts among other participants discussed the situation in three aspects related with the U.S. cyber surveillance: the U.S. legislation and practice on cyber surveillance, the evaluation of the U.S. behavior based on international law and the efforts against such hegemony.
"Such cyber surveillance severely infringes upon the national sovereignty and security of other countries," said Xie Yongjiang, executive director of Internet Governance and the Law Research Center of Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications.
"No one should sacrifice the security of others to seek its own so-called absolute security," he said.
Anthony Carty, a law professor at Beijing Institute of Technology, criticized Section 702 of the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act on mass collection of emails and phone calls anywhere in the world.
"This is widely viewed in Europe as an infringement on human rights across the world, especially on people's privacy. However, the International Law is still quite vague on this," he said.
Some participants said that the U.S. hasn't changed at all in the past eight years since former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden exposed the country's PRISM surveillance program and its other spying activities, including on its allies in Europe.
"We need to put the large-scale cyber surveillance into the discussion of 'responsible acts of states' under the framework of the United Nations," said Li Yan, deputy director of the Institute of Scientific and Cyber Security from China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations.
"Relevant regulations should be established at least on the bottom-line to protect cyber security and rebuild cyber trust," she said.
Peter Herrmann, a member of the European Academy of Sciences and Arts, stressed the importance of improving the awareness for a better cyber world through constantly improving the regulation system, like the existing EU Data Protection Law. 
He said what people need is not only the protection of individual data, but also the creation of a new public space. 
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