Snowden calls for international deal on data surveillance

Apr 08, 2014
A recent, undated picture received from Channel 4 on December 24, 2013 shows US intelligence leaker Edward Snowden

Fugitive US intelligence contractor Edward Snowden said on Tuesday there should be an international agreement on data collection to protect against the mass surveillance of citizens.

Speaking to the Council of Europe in Strasbourg via video link, he said a set of "common standards" would be needed to prevent widespread surveillance programmes like that carried out by the US National Security Agency.

The whistleblower, who lives in Moscow after being granted asylum by Russia, was speaking to officials from across Europe who are investigating mass surveillance.

"I believe the international community should agree to new common standards of behaviour, perhaps a Convention on ," he told the council.

"We need to develop international standards to protect against the routine and substantial abuse of this technology, abuses that are ongoing today.

"This is not just a problem for the United States and the European Union: this is in fact a global problem", he said.

Snowden, now aged 30, said that the system developed by the NSA was used not just for the prevention of terrorism, but to "follow people, even for non-violent offences" and "without the issue of any judicial warrant".

Such monitoring "represents the most significant new threat to civil rights in modern times," he told the council.

The trove of documents leaked by Snowden sparked outrage in the United States and abroad about the vast capabilities of America's intelligence programs.

Following the revelations, President Barack Obama was forced to propose changes to the of US citizens, including proposals put forward last month to take bulk phone out of the hands of the NSA.

Although officials have defended the methods as necessary for national security, the scale of the NSA's surveillance sparked a wave of controversy on both sides of the Atlantic.

Separately on Tuesday, the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg ruled that the bloc's data-retention law governing phone calls and electronic data was illegal, saying in its current form it was disproportionate and overly-intrusive.

Snowden said that data had been used in Europe to "track, intercept and monitor the travel of innocent citizens, not suspected of anything".

Despite being exiled from his home country, Snowden said he was happy to have started a debate about online surveillance—which he believes still has a long way to go.

"It's very difficult to achieve revolutionary change overnight, particularly on the topic of human rights," he said. "The key is we made incredible progress.

"Every citizen who had not even heard about these technologies is now talking about them," he said. "The fact that people are now aware... is worth everything that happened."

Explore further: NSA can retrieve, replay phone calls, report says (Update)

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Snowden: NSA leaks fueled needed debate on spying

Mar 10, 2014

Former intelligence contractor Edward Snowden said Monday he has no regrets over his leaks about mass surveillance programs, saying they sparked a needed public debate on spying and data collection.

Obama proposes to end NSA bulk data collection

Mar 25, 2014

US President Barack Obama is proposing to end the National Security Agency's controversial bulk telephone data collection, exposed by fugitive intelligence contractor Edward Snowden.

Coalition wants US to end bulk data sweep

Apr 01, 2014

More than 40 activist organizations and companies called Tuesday for an overhaul of US government surveillance authority that goes beyond President Barack Obama's proposal.

Recommended for you

We need new laws to govern cyberwarfare

8 hours ago

President Bush is reported to have said: "When I take action, I'm not going to fire a US$2m missile at a US$10 empty tent and hit a camel in the butt. It's going to be decisive." As the quote suggests, when ...

US won't reveal records on health website security

Aug 19, 2014

The Obama administration has concluded it will not publicly disclose federal records that could shed light on the security of the government's signature health care website because doing so could "potentially" allow hackers ...

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Clintonloan
not rated yet Apr 08, 2014
Hello,

Do you need a loan? Do you need to pay off your debt? Are you in any financial mess? Do you need funds to start up your own business? Do you have a low credit score and you are finding it hard to obtain capital loan from local banks or other financial institutes? We are legitimate & accredited Loan lender. We render out good loan of all kinds in a very fast and easy way, Personal Loan, Home Loan, Student Loan, Business Loan, Investor loan, Car Loan, Debt Consolidation. stop searching and contact us via mail:loanfirms007@gmail.com for the best and secured loan.

Mr Andrew Clinton