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Clear message to US and EU governments on mass surveillance but Snowden left in the lurch


12 Mar 2014


NSA scandal - EP inquiry

The final report of the European Parliament's inquiry into the mass surveillance revelations by Edward Snowden was today adopted. Commenting after the vote, Green justice and home affairs spokesperson Jan Philipp Albrecht stated:

"The European Parliament has today sent a clear message to EU governments and the US that the mass surveillance of citizens by secret services revealed by Edward Snowden must end. The report pinpoints rights abuses by countries like the Netherlands, the UK, France, Germany, Poland and Sweden through mass surveillance. MEPs supported longstanding Green proposals, calling on the US to end its bulk collection of data without individual suspicion and redress or data protection rights for EU citizens. Until it does, the EU should end data sharing agreements with the US, like the SWIFT and PNR agreements and the Safe Harbour decision. A Green proposal for a 'digital New Deal' to strengthen an independent European IT industry, providing secure and safe products and services, was also supported.

"Regrettably, a majority of MEPs has voted to leave whistleblower Edward Snowden in the lurch by rejecting a Green amendment calling for Snowden to be granted protection by EU member states. The failure to recognise the vital contribution of Edward Snowden by calling for his protection is a display of cowardice. It sends out a negative message that whistleblowers who expose injustices will not be protected. This move, which is borne out of a desire not to offend the US, is a cop-out and is amplified by the failure to support calls for a suspension of negotiations on an EU-US trade agreement (TTIP) until the US ceases its mass surveillance of EU citizens."

The European Parliament also today voted on draft EU legislation on data protection, adopting the proposals with a large majority. See the statement from Green MEP and European Parliament draftsperson/rapporteur on the data protection regulation Jan Philipp Albrecht


Richard More O'Ferrall,
Press and media officer,
Greens/EFA group in the European Parliament
Mobile: +32-477-443842
Ph. +32-22841669 (Brussels); +33-388174042 (Strasbourg) - -