New U.N. investigator to probe digital spying
* Brazil, Germany lead bid after Snowden revelations
* U.S. joins consensus to appoint U.N. investigator
By Stephanie Nebehay
GENEVA, March 26 (Reuters) - The United Nations top human rights body agreed on Thursday to appoint a special investigator to probe digital spying and violations of online privacy.
Brazil and Germany spearheaded the resolution, which voiced deep concern over electronic surveillance and the interception of digital communications, as well as data collection by governments and private companies.
Former U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden exposed mass surveillance of private emails and phone data across the world two years ago, sparking outrage.
Brazil's government fell out with Washington at the time over revelations that the NSA had eavesdropped on President Dilma Rousseff. Snowden has said the United States also carried out large-scale electronic espionage in Germany.
"States must respect international human rights obligations regarding the right to privacy when they intercept digital communication of individuals and/or collect personal data," Brazil's ambassador Regina Dunlop told the U.N. Human Rights Council in presenting the resolution.
The Geneva forum, whose 47 members include the United States, adopted the text unanimously. During the debate, Russia's delegation criticised mass surveillance by the United States while Cuba took aim at "certain Western powers". Continuación...