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A new report published by the UN has stated the surveillance of the internet by government intelligence agencies may undermine international law, reports the Guardian.

The report, written by Ben Emmerson QC, a specialist on counter-terrorism, was released as a response to the Edward Snowden revelations concerning the extent to which government agencies were spying on the public via digital channels.

The report focuses on Article 17 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, where it is stated: "no one shall be subjected to arbitrary or unlawful interference with his or her privacy, family, home and correspondence, nor to unlawful attacks on his or her honour or reputation."

Rumours have emerged implicating New Zealand Prime Minister, John Key, of acting unlawfully by breaking privacy laws, reports the BBC.

While John Key denies any wrongdoing, an American investigative journalist claims that Mr Key was planning an undercover national surveillance operation and had even begun tapping into phone lines before being granted the legal authority to do so.

'The report was based on information disclosed by former US National Security Authority (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden, who said the government had planned to exploit new spying laws', reports the BBC.

Information: Government to share private data for the first time

The government is planning to share the private data of millions of citizens across Whitehall databases for the first time, without seeking prior approval from the individuals concerned, reports the Daily Telegraph.

The government is planning to link access to databases containing reams of personal information in order to make the sharing of information within local and central government easier.

It is understood that the proposals will see private information shared between councils, schools and the police. The Telegraph speculates that the sort of data involved could include driving licence information held by the DVLA, police criminal records, and information stored by your local council.