European Parliament wants to hear from Edward Snowden

A European Parliament committee voted Thursday to invite former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden to testify on U.S. surveillance.

The Civil Liberties Committee will ask Snowden to speak via video conference as part of the committee’s investigation into U.S. government surveillance of European officials and citizens.

According to documents released by Snowden, the NSA has monitored the communications of Europeans, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

{mosads}The committee — which voted 36-2 to invite Snowden — is considering a draft report from British representative Claude Moraes, who has been investigating the effects of U.S. surveillance on European privacy.

In December, Moraes encouraged European negotiators to reconsider the “safe harbor” agreement between the EU and the U.S. that allows American companies to process data belonging to European citizens. Moraes also called for the creation of an “EU only” cloud, to keep European citizens’ data away from foreign governments’ surveillance agencies.

Earlier in the year, the committee passed a regulation that would fine foreign companies for any unauthorized sharing of European citizens’ data with third parties, including government entities.

Moraes reiterated many of those points in his draft report in front of the committee Thursday. 

“Large-scale access by U.S. intelligence agencies has seriously eroded transatlantic trust and negatively impacted on the trust for US organisations acting in the EU,” he wrote.

The report “calls on the US authorities and the EU Member States to prohibit blanket mass surveillance activities and bulk processing of personal data” and asks the U.S. to “revise its legislation without delay in order to bring it into line with international law,” including privacy protections for European citizens. 

Tags Edward Snowden European Parliament Mass surveillance National security National Security Agency

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