The revelations by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden about the US’ alleged mass surveillance programmes targeting citizens and world leaders alike has reportedly prompted the United Nations to launch an investigation into the matter recently.
The UN’s senior counter-terrorism official said that the revelations are at the very apex of public interest concerns.
The special rapporteur Ben Emmerson QC wrote to the Guardian that he would be launching an investigation into the surveillance powers of American and British intelligence agencies following the revelations reportedly carried by major newspapers.
The inquiry would also seek to establish whether the British parliament had been misled about the capabilities of the country’s spy agency, GCHQ, and whether the current system of oversight and scrutiny was strong enough to meet United Nations standards.
According to the report, the inquiry will make a series of recommendations to the UN general assembly next year and a more detailed explanation would be sought by the security chief generals.
He further added, "when it comes to assessing the balance that must be struck between maintaining secrecy and exposing information in the public interest there are often borderline cases."