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BRUSSELS, October 1. (ITAR-TASS). - The surveillance of whole populations, rather than individuals, threatens to be the greatest human rights challenge of our time. This opinion was expressed by former American intelligence employee Edward Snowden in an address to the European parliamentary committee on civil liberties, justice and home affairs.
“If we are to enjoy such debates in the future, we cannot rely on individual sacrifice. We must create better channels for people of conscience to inform not only trusted agents of the government but independent representatives outside of the government,” the statement says. Snowden also said that he believes his work was partially successful in the United States, where human rights activists demanded the revision of government funding that has spent over $500 billion in September 2001 on surveillance.
Earlier, Edward Snowden became one of the main candidates for the 2013 Sakharov Prize for freedom of thought. The prize is awarded annually by the European Parliament for human rights protection.
Naryshkin's PACE address
Russia had no legal or moral grounds to extradite Snowden, State Duma chairman Sergei Naryshkin said during his address at PACE.
“Open and understandable standards for online activity are more in line with European values than attempts to combine declarations of free internet along with creation of an omnipresent lawless system for controlling digital communications, and through this – for controlling freedom of thought,” the spokesman stressed.
“Moreover, legislative tools, as they’re open, can be modified; the same cannot be said about technology which lacks any sort of public control,” he explained. “By the way, the well-known Edward Snowden shared a lot of relevant information with the world; I believe that Russia made a just decision to not hand him over to the U.S. authorities; partially because he might have been treated with no regard to the law,” Naryshkin stated.
“I have to mention that Russia had neither legal no moral grounds to extradite Snowden to the U.S. – he is a person, who told the world about total violation of human rights against hundreds of millions of people all over the globe,” the spokesman said.