Snowden has new chance to spill secrets

Former government contractor Edward Snowden has agreed to participate in the European Parliament's inquiry into government surveillance.

Last month, the European Parliament's Civil Liberties Committee voted to invite Snowden to testify about government surveillance via video conference. Over the last several months, the committee has been examining U.S. government surveillance, sparked by Snowden's leaked information about the National Security Agency (NSA).

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On Friday, the committee said Snowden will answer its questions either in writing or in a recorded video.

In a statement, committee member Jan Phillip Albrecht — who represents Germany's Greens party and has been a vocal critic of U.S. surveillance of European citizens — said Snowden's input would be "a significant and positive development" in the European Parliament's inquiry into government surveillance.

"To conclude the inquiry without testimony from its key witness would render the process clearly incomplete," he said, calling on skeptical committee members to "drop their resistance."

Albrecht also said he hopes the committee will vote next week to call on European Union governments to grant Snowden protection.

"It is clear that Edward Snowden will only be able to give us comprehensive information if he can be guaranteed a safe stay in Europe for a later in-depth testimony," he said.