Quantcast

«

»

Dec 15 2013

Snowden to testify before European parliament

The European parliament, defying opposition from the US and its own conservative bloc of center-right parties, has invited Edward Snowden to testify before them about the issues involved in his revelations of widespread government spying.

Labour MEP Claude Moraes, the lead rapporteur for the European parliament inquiry on the mass surveillance of EU citizens, welcomed the outcome of the vote and promised that questioning would be “rigorous and fair”.

“Amongst the questions I will ask Mr Snowden,” Moraes said, “will be why he decided to reveal the information and the consequences and implications of his actions; questions around his current situation in Russia; questions around his opinion on the impact of his revelations on security, the intelligence services, and ‘the right to know’; questions around his opinions of where his revelations and allegations take the area of mass surveillance in the future.”

What is interesting is that distrust of the US is so high even in the European parliament that they have fears that the NSA might use it to try and pinpoint Snowden’s location, and so they are likely to avoid a live interaction video link and the exchange may have to be pre-recorded.

A “We the People” petition on the White House website that read “Edward Snowden is a national hero and should be immediately issued a a full, free, and absolute pardon for any crimes he has committed or may have committed related to blowing the whistle on secret NSA surveillance programs” reached the required 100,000 signatures by the deadline, forcing the government to respond. It now has 142,353 signatures.

Some NSA officials have floated a plan for an amnesty for Snowden in exchange for him returning the yet unrevealed documents. That plan faces strong opposition and appears to be going nowhere, not surprisingly.

The US wants to make Snowden into an untouchable pariah but they are losing that battle. As more and more leaks are revealed showing the depth of the invasion of people’s privacy and the lying about it by high officials from president Obama on downwards, there is no mistaking the fact that Snowden is in the right and the US government is wrong.

20 comments

Skip to comment form

  1. 1
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    .. there is no mistaking the fact that Snowden is in the right and the US government is wrong.

    Really? That’s a subjective opinion and not a matter of fact.

    Of course countries that benefit from the secrets of the US government being leaked and who enjoy America’s discomfort -perhaps from an antui-Amercian aspectand national rivalries – are lapping up and applauding Snowden.

    I don’t think that makes him and what he did “right” though. I think that’s very much a debatable proposition.

  2. 2
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    What actual harm has the NSA and other US agencies spying done – has it broken anyone’s bones or picked anyone’s pockets or put people at risk of that?

    What harm has Snowden’s leaking done – emboldening and empowering the enemies of the USA and Western world and possibly inciting anti-American sentiments and maybe causing much trouble for the future in impeding and making it far harder to take actions that protect us all from Jihadist terrorism and other plots and people that cause harm – potentially catastrophic harm.

  3. 3
    Suido

    What actual harm has the NSA and other US agencies spying done – has it broken anyone’s bones or picked anyone’s pockets or put people at risk of that?

    Well, that’s the most disingenuous thing I’ve read on this blog in a long time. The only harms that can be done are physical or economic violence? That’s a false dichotomy you set up there, hope you don’t mind it being pointed out.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2003/09/28/us/us-uses-terror-law-to-pursue-crimes-from-drugs-to-swindling.html?pagewanted=all&src=pm

    This is a news report from 2003. Ten years on, after numerous instances of the NSA lying to politicians about its activities, care to explain why you think the NSA is only using this data to protect the US from terrorism?

  4. 4
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    @ StevoR

    Are you a (poorly designed) Turing Bot?

    Every socially responsible post on FTB is responded to in the most reactionary manner by you. You are becoming dully predictable. Every discussion pertaining to transparency, social responsibility, humane behaviour, etc, that appears on these blogs is responded to with its antithesis in your comments.

    Your game is getting rather boring. Why do you come to FTB if everything is always at odds with your own narrow minded worldview? We know exactly how the right wingers, bigots and Authoritarians feel about these issues. We don’t need your own misguided renditions.

    What actual harm has the NSA and other US agencies spying done – has it broken anyone’s bones or picked anyone’s pockets or put people at risk of that?

    Yes, what makes you think otherwise? The crimes it has committed have done all of those things and more. The whole point is that it obtains information (once again: illegally!) in order achieve all those nefarious goals.

    StevoR, why must the government know that I have nothing to hide?

  5. 5
    Dunc

    What actual harm has the NSA and other US agencies spying done – has it broken anyone’s bones or picked anyone’s pockets or put people at risk of that?

    So, you’d be fine with me installing cameras in every room of your house, and having people follow you around 24/7, as long as I don’t cause you any actual physical harm or steal from you?

  6. 6
    Nick Gotts

    Suido, theophontes, Dunc,

    You’re missing StevoR’s point: the NSA are not Muslims, therefore they haven’t done anyone any real harm. Of course, if the security services of any Muslim-led or Muslim-majority state were found to have spied on anyone, that would be an outrageous crime against humanity.

  7. 7
    John Morales

    What actual harm has the NSA and other US agencies spying done – has it broken anyone’s bones or picked anyone’s pockets or put people at risk of that?

    That’s secret.

    (Well, except for what has been revealed)

    What harm has Snowden’s leaking done – emboldening and empowering the enemies of the USA and Western world and possibly inciting anti-American sentiments and maybe causing much trouble for the future in impeding and making it far harder to take actions that protect us all from Jihadist terrorism and other plots and people that cause harm – potentially catastrophic harm.

    You consider that revealing some of the truth has done “potentially catastrophic harm”, whilst blithely ignoring that such harm is due not to the revelation itself, but to the actions that were revealed.

    (When did “Western world” become an enemy of the USA?)

    You truly are a stooge.

  8. 8
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    @ John Morales :

    .. You consider that revealing some of the truth has done “potentially catastrophic harm”,

    No I said it has made it harder for the counterterrorist groups tasked with prevented us from potentially coming to catastrophic harm.

    You’ve missed my point clearly.

    When did “Western world” become an enemy of the USA?

    Uh, it hasn’t and isn’t – the USA is the leader of the Free Western world.

    There is a lot of anti-Americanism in Europe though – that’s a fact and a lot of Europeans are jealous and resentful of US power.

    You truly are a stooge.

    Bullplop.

    I ask questions, disagree on a few issues and that supposedly makes me a stooge here? Nope. Just nope.

  9. 9
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    So they protect people from criminals too. That a bad thing? I don’t think so.

    From your link :

    The government is using its expanded authority under the far-reaching law to investigate suspected drug traffickers, white-collar criminals, blackmailers, child pornographers, money launderers, spies and even corrupt foreign leaders, federal officials said. … (snip) … Mark Corallo, a department spokesman, said. ”And I think any reasonable person would agree that we have an obligation to do everything we can to protect the lives and liberties of Americans from attack, whether it’s from terrorists or garden-variety criminals.”

    I agree with Mark Corallo there. I don’t see why criminals should be allowed to hide and think bringing them to justice and deterring them is a good thing to do. You disagree with that? Then you’d better explain why and give some durn good reasons.

    If you are NOT doing something wrong then you shouldn’t have anything to worry about. They’ll have their hands full with all those people who are.

  10. 10
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    Are you a (poorly designed) Turing Bot?

    Not even a well designed one mate, I’m as human as you are. Assuming that is that *you* aren’t a robot or, this being the internet, even a dog! (Meh, who knows, what does it matter anyhow?)

    very discussion pertaining to transparency, social responsibility, humane behaviour, etc, that appears on these blogs is responded to with its antithesis in your comments.

    Simply false. A nonsense assertion on your part.

    For starters its flat out wrong and besides your mileage on what is humane behaviour, socially responsible, etc .. may vary from mine and, if so, this doesn’t mean I’m wrong just that we I disgaree on what constitutes these.

    Your game is getting rather boring. Why do you come to FTB if everything is always at odds with your own narrow minded worldview?

    To get a broader perspective and see what other people are saying and thinking maybe? To learn and enjoy the blogs here same as everyone else. Why shouldn’t I? Oh & its no “game” just me giving my opinions and comments same as everyone – just because I don’t always agree with everything doesn’t mean I’m playing any “games” just giving my views like you do.

    We know exactly how the right wingers, bigots and Authoritarians feel about these issues. We don’t need your own misguided renditions.

    I’m none of those things actually. Oh & I think you could use the odd argument or debate or challenging from a slightly different perspective occasionally too.

    Yes, what makes you think otherwise? The crimes it (the NSA presumably) has committed have done all of those things and more.

    Really? Citations very much needed – that’s just your erroneous assertion from what I can tell.

    The whole point is that it obtains information (once again: illegally!) in order achieve all those nefarious goals.

    Nefarious goals? Really? Stopping terrorism and crooks is “nefarious” – I don’t think youknow what thatword means. It’s, the reverse of that actually and if the duly elected and accountable government is acting then clearly its authorise activity and not criminal by definition.

    StevoR, why must the government know that I have nothing to hide?

    So that they know you don’t have something to hide and thus aren’t hiding something that would potentially harm others. If they didn’t know you had nothing to hide then you could be hiding something they’d need to know and so they therefore have to know you aren’t hiding anything so they can focus on those who are hiding something instead.

    Pretty basic really.

  11. 11
    Dunc

    So what’s your position on the 4th Amendment? Should citizens have any right to privacy at all?

  12. 12
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    Y’know there are people who love to be on Reality TV and have exactly that situation. (Shrug)

    In this modern age, whether we like it or not, such surveillance exists and is part of life and won’t be going away anytime soon.

  13. 13
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    Oh I’m sure that Muslim governments have spy services of their own and, no, if its restricted to information gathering its not a crime against humanity.

    I’ve never said and do not think that only Muslims are capable of criminal or /and harmful behaviour either.

  14. 14
    Dunc

    They volunteer for it, are paid for it, and it only happens for a limited period of time. I’m talking about involuntary, permanent surveillance, which is a very different thing.

  15. 15
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    Not sure.

    I’m not an American so I’d have to look up what the 4th amendment says.

    Right to privacy? Dunno.

    Privacy can be good and where possible probably respected to be kind and allow others maximum freedom and happiness but it also has its downsides and there are times when it may have to be sacrificed fro the protection of others. It probably depends on the person and situation, the context of what they want to do in private. Eg. Private sex life, great and everyone not involved should keep out but private bomb-making or criminal activity not-so-much.

  16. 16
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    The NSA have their hands full dealing with terrorists and criminals and if you don’t fall into those categories I very much doubt you’d get permanent surveillance or more than a fleeting check or two when necessary.

    So whilst its involuntary its also self-selecting by an individual or group of people doing bad things that would make the NSA have cause to surveil (That a word?)) you.

    Do nothing wrong, do nothing to draw their attention and you don’t have reason to think you’ll be permanently under surveillance.

  17. 17
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    The people who caused this situation – the Terrorists and the Criminals are the ones who make it necessary and therefore deserve the blame. Not the (almost all) good people who are just doing their jobs and saving others from the harm those Terrorists or Criminals wish to, try to and sometimes still manage to do.

    Imagine if Bin Laden had been stopped before 9-11 or the Chechen brothers before the Boston marathon bombings? Would that be better or worse than what happened because they weren’t stopped?

  18. 18
    Dunc

    Haven’t you been paying attention? Everybody is under some level of permanent surveillance.

    Then, of course, there’s the problem that the people are doing the surveillance are also the people who decide, in secret, who needs to be under what level surveillance. Have you ever encountered the maxim “power corrupts”? How about “quis custodiet ipsos custodes”? History teaches us that whenever you give people that sort of power, they inevitably abuse it. Have you heard of COINTELPRO, or the Church Committee hearings? We know perfectly well, from their own admissions and internal documents, that the very agencies in which you seem to have an unquestioning, child-like trust, have in fact, long been involved in a remarkable array of criminal activities, including (but not limited to) blackmail, burglary, assault, and murder, all in order to suppress perfectly legitimate political activities.

  19. 19
    Dunc

    he people who caused this situation – the Terrorists and the Criminals are the ones who make it necessary and therefore deserve the blame.

    That’s exactly what the KGB and the Stasi used to say.

  20. 20
    Dunc

    I’m not an American either, but I’m not entirely ignorant… It says:

    “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>