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Whistleblower Snowden holds videoconference for human rights activists in Chicago

April 06, 2014, 9:34 UTC+3 NEW YORK
He stated that the monitoring of metadata about telephone calls is even more intrusive for private life than a direct tapping of phone calls or reading of emails
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NEW YORK, April 06. /ITAR-TASS/. Former analyst of U.S. security services Edward Snowden who leaked information to media about global surveillance programme conducted by U.S. intelligence service participated in a videoconference at the Amnesty International U.S. annual human rights meeting on Saturday. The annual meeting was held at a hotel in the U.S. city of Chicago, Illinois, devoted to the problem of U.S. intelligence interference in private life.

Notably, Snowden stated that the monitoring of metadata about telephone calls conducted by the U.S. National Security Agency engaged in radioelectronic spying is even more intrusive for private life than a direct tapping of phone calls or reading of emails. Collecting metadata about phone calls U.S. authorities are known to fix phone numbers and duration of phone calls. The content of phone calls is allegedly not recorded.

"Metadata is what allows an actual enumerated understanding, a precise record of all the private activities in all of our lives. It shows our associations, our political affiliations and our actual activities," Snowden said.

Until recently the U.S. National Security Agency has gathered metadata, but last January U.S. President Barack Obama instructed to ponder only telecommunications companies, but not the government to store metadata in the future. Meanwhile, these companies will provide to security services information the latter are interested in if necessary.

Reporter of British newspaper The Guardian Glenn Greenwald who was the first to publish classified documents leaked by Snowden also participated in the Amnesty International annual meeting through a videoconference link from Brazil.

In June 2013 Snowden fled to Russia. On August 1, he was granted temporary asylum in the country after spending more than a month in the transit zone of the Moscow airport Sheremetyevo. Snowden is charged in the United States with breaching two articles of the U.S. Espionage Act of 1917 for unauthorised disclosure of classified information sensitive for national defence and premeditated leaking of U.S. intelligence information to people who do not have the right to receive this data. Meanwhile, he is accused of U.S. government property theft. He faces up to ten years in jail on each charge.

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