Edward Snowden: The Work of a Generation

Edward Snowden, October 02, 2013

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden's words were entered as testimony at the European Parliament's Civil Liberties Committee in Brussels on Monday.

Jesselyn Radack of the US Government Accountability Project (GAP) and a former whistleblower and ethics adviser to the US Department of Justice, read Snowden's statement into the record.

Ms. Radack came to prominence after she revealed that the FBI had committed what she said was a breach of ethics in its interrogation of John Walker Lindh, who was captured during the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 and dubbed the “American Taliban.”

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I thank the European Parliament and the LIBE Committee for taking up the challenge of mass surveillance. The surveillance of whole populations, rather than individuals, threatens to be the greatest human rights challenge of our time. The success of economies in developed nations relies increasingly on their creative output, and if that success is to continue, we must remember that creativity is the product of curiosity, which in turn is the product of privacy.

A culture of secrecy has denied our societies the opportunity to determine the appropriate balance between the human right of privacy and the governmental interest in investigation. These are not decisions that should be made for a people, but only by the people after full, informed, and fearless debate. Yet public debate is not possible without public knowledge, and in my country, the cost for one in my position of returning public knowledge to public hands has been persecution and exile. If we are to enjoy such debates in the future, we cannot rely upon individual sacrifice. We must create better channels for people of conscience to inform not only trusted agents of government, but independent representatives of the public outside of government.

When I began my work, it was with the sole intention of making possible the debate we see occurring here in this body and in many other bodies around the world. Today we see legislative bodies forming new committees, calling for investigations, and proposing new solutions for modern problems. We see emboldened courts that are no longer afraid to consider critical questions of national security. We see brave executives remembering that if a public is prevented from knowing how they are being governed, the necessary result is that they are no longer self-governing. And we see the public reclaiming an equal seat at the table of government. The work of a generation is beginning here, with your hearings, and you have the full measure of my gratitude and support.

Thanks to Common Dreams for this post.




4 Responses to “Edward Snowden: The Work of a Generation”

  1. UE Quran NOW is the road map of 21C: welcome to God choice

  2. best part of this post is The work of a generation is beginning here, with your hearings
    thanks
    Regards
    Emily.Bronte

  3. Notably, Koh defends the legality and the necessity of the drone war, but quibbles with the administration’s secrecy primarily because it has unhelpful consequences in public perceptions of the covert targeted killing program.

  4. Notably, Koh defends the legality and the necessity of the drone war, but quibbles with the administrationa??s secrecy primarily because it has unhelpful consequences in public perceptions of the covert targeted killing program.