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Snowden feels justified as world condemns US spying
November 4, 2013, 6:15 am

Snowden’s comments came in the backdrop of Brazil and Germany drafting a UN resolution calling for an end to excessive electronic surveillance  [AP]

Snowden’s comments came in the backdrop of Brazil and Germany drafting a UN resolution calling for an end to excessive electronic surveillance [AP]

Writing from his temporary asylum in Russia, former US intelligence contractor Edward Snowden on Sunday said he is “justified” in disclosing classified information of American spying programs even as world leaders call for reforms in international surveillance.

Snowden is wanted in the US on felony charges related to his disclosure of top-secret government information.

“Instead of causing damage, the usefulness of the new public knowledge for society is now clear because reforms to politics, supervision and laws are being suggested,” Snowden says in “A Manifesto for the Truth,” published by German news magazine Der Spiegel.

“Citizens have to fight against the suppression of information about affairs of essential importance for the public. Those who speak the truth are not committing a crime,” he said.

Snowden’s comments came in the backdrop of Brazil and Germany drafting a UN resolution calling for an end to excessive electronic surveillance.

The German-Brazilian draft would have the 193-nation assembly declare that it is “deeply concerned at human rights violations and abuses that may result from the conduct of any surveillance of communications, including extraterritorial surveillance of communications”.

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have condemned the US National Security Agency’s (NSA) surveillance programme even as reports surfaced that both these leaders were major targets of the US spying program.

Meanwhile, 70 different advocacy and rights groups have written a letter to UK Prime Minister David Cameron on Sunday condemning the British government’s response to the Snowden revelations.

“National security should never be used to justify preventing disclosures of illegalities or wrongdoing, no matter how embarrassing such disclosures may be to the UK or other governments,” reads the letter.

New police documents accuse David Miranda, the partner of Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald, who broke the NSA spying stories, of being involved in “terrorism”.

Miranda was detained at a London airport when he tried to carry documents from Snowden through a London airport in August.

“Intelligence indicates that Miranda is likely to be involved in espionage activity which has the potential to act against the interests of UK national security,” according to a UK police document read in court last week.

Cameron had earlier accused the media of assisting Britain’s enemies by helping them avoid surveillance by its intelligence services and has threatened to act to stop further publication.

Meanwhile, Germany’s Federal Prosecutor’s Office last week announced that it might summon the former US NSA employee as a witness of excessive spying by the United States.

Snowden, who lives in Russia on temporary political asylum, reportedly told a German lawmaker in Moscow last week that he would be willing to testify in Germany provided he would not be detained or extradited to the United States.

 

Source: Agencies

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