Edward Snowden’s Testimony to the EU Parliament
Sep 30, 2013 – Government Accountability Project’s Jesselyn Radack reads Edward Snowden’s statement before the European Parliament Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs in Brussels. See transcript below.
I thank the European Parliament and the LIBE Committee for taking up the challenge of mass surveillance. The surveillance of whole populations, rather than individuals, threatens to be the greatest human rights challenge of our time. The success of economies in developed nations relies increasingly on their creative output, and if that success is to continue, we must remember that creativity is the product of curiosity, which in turn is the product of privacy.
A culture of secrecy has denied our societies the opportunity to determine the appropriate balance between the human right of privacy and the governmental interest in investigation. These are not decisions that should be made for a people, but only by the people after full, informed, and fearless debate. Yet public debate is not possible without public knowledge, and in my country, the cost for one in my position of returning public knowledge to public hands has been persecution and exile. If we are to enjoy such debates in the future, we cannot rely upon individual sacrifice. We must create better channels for people of conscience to inform not only trusted agents of government, but independent representatives of the public outside of government.
When I began my work, it was with the sole intention of making possible the debate we see occurring here in this body and in many other bodies around the world. Today we see legislative bodies forming new committees, calling for investigations, and proposing new solutions for modern problems. We see emboldened courts that are no longer afraid to consider critical questions of national security. We see brave executives remembering that if a public is prevented from knowing how they are being governed, the necessary result is that they are no longer self-governing. And we see the public reclaiming an equal seat at the table of government. The work of a generation is beginning here, with your hearings, and you have the full measure of my gratitude and support.
Whistleblower Edward Joseph Snowden is a former technical contractor for the National Security Agency (NSA) and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) employee who leaked details of top-secret government mass surveillance programs to the press.
Jesselyn Radack is a former whistleblower and ethics adviser to the US Department of Justice who revealed that the FBI had committed a breach of ethics in its interrogation of John Walker Lindh, captured during the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 and labeled the “American Taliban.”
The Government Accountability Project is the nation’s leading whistleblower protection and advocacy.
This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 7 Oct 2013.
Anticopyright: Editorials and articles originated on TMS may be freely reprinted, disseminated, translated and used as background material, provided an acknowledgement and link to the source, TMS: Edward Snowden’s Testimony to the EU Parliament, is included. Thank you.
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