Group of 77 decries ‘ZunZuneo’ and similar infiltration techniques

The use of cyberspace and the social communication networks to infiltrate and destabilize societies and governments was denounced Sunday (June 15) by the Group of 77+China at its summit in Santa Cruz, Bolivia.

In its Final Declaration, the 133-nation group criticized “certain countries” for conducting electronic espionage and data-gathering in other countries. While it didn’t specifically name the United States, the declaration alluded to the recently disclosed monitoring by the U.S. National Security Agency of communications between European leaders, and the USAID’s attempts at creating social networks in Cuba and other Latin American countries to feed misinformation and sow confusion.

A direct reference to the “ZunZuneo” program (also known as “the Cuban Twitter”) was unmistakable. For background on that program, click here>> and here>> and here>> and here>>.

Below, translated by Progreso Weekly, are the applicable paragraphs in the G77’s Final Declaration. Translator’s clarifications appear [in brackets].

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Governance of the Internet, including the right to privacy

194. We see with consternation that some countries have recently carried out activities of surveillance or interception of communications [that have been] extensive, arbitrary and illegal, including the extraterritorial surveillance or interception of communications and the collection of personal data, even on a major scale, of people and institutions in other countries, particularly of political leaders, high-ranking functionaries and diverse government departments and organizations, as well as citizens.

We ask for an end to such activities, which violate the human right to people’s privacy and have negative effects on the relationship between countries. In this sense, we ask that inter-government entities examine and revise the use of information and communication technologies to make sure that they fully adhere to international law, including the law on human rights, in accordance with the purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter.

195. We welcome the celebration of NETmundial, the Global Multistake Meeting on the Future of Internet Governance, which was held in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on 23-24 April 2014, and we take note of its final document.

196. We emphasize the important possibilities offered by information and communication technologies, including the social networks and the connected infrastructures as means to promote a better understanding among nations and the attainment of the objectives of development that have been agreed upon internationally.

197. At the same time, we recognize that the illegal use of information and communication technologies has negative effects on the nations and their citizens. In this regard, we express our firm rejection of the use of information and communication technologies in violation of international law, including the right to privacy, and [the use of] any measures of this kind directed against any Member State, particularly a member state of the Group of 77.

198. We also emphasize the importance of ensuring that the use of those technologies be fully compatible with the purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter and international law, in particular the principles of sovereignty, the noninterference in internal affairs and the internationally recognized standards of civil coexistence between the states.

199. In this regard, we observe with concern the information published in the international communications media about the objectives of the so-called “ZunZuneo” network, which would constitute an illicit use of the new technologies of information and communication.

200. Therefore, we reiterate our commitment to intensify the international efforts leading to safeguard cyberspace and promote its use exclusively for the attainment of peaceful goals and as a vehicle to contribute to economic and social development, and we stress that international cooperation that fully respects human rights is the only viable option to promote the positive effects of information and communication technologies, avoid their possible negative effects, promote their use for peaceful and legitimate goals, and guarantee that the scientific and technological advancements aim to preserve the peace and promote the well-being and development of our societies.

[For the full text, in Spanish, of the Final Declaration of G-77, click here.]

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