Wednesday

20th Sep 2017

Brazil and Germany want anti-surveillance UN resolution

Brazil and Germany want the UN General Assembly to adopt a draft resolution to end mass surveillance, as German public figures call for Edward Snowden to receive asylum.

The two countries say that the mass surveillance on the scale revealed by the Snowden leaks “constitutes a highly intrusive act,” reports the BBC.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now and get 40% off for an annual subscription. Sale ends soon.

  1. €90 per year. Use discount code EUOBS40%
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

  • US spy revelations by Edward Snowden have led to global outlash against mass surveillance (Photo: Abode of Chaos)

The resolution, which calls for the right to privacy, is set for a vote at the end of the month.

It says countries must protect the right to privacy as guaranteed under international law.

Meanwhile, some 50 high profile German personalities in the weekly news magazine Der Spiegel said Snowden should be granted asylum in Germany.

“Snowden has done the western world a great service. It is now up to us to help him,” noted Heiner Geissler, former general secretary of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats.

Other public figures like Hans Magnus Enzensberger said he should be granted asylum in Norway.

Snowden, for his part, said last week he would be willing to testify in Germany against the NSA.

The 30-year old, who has reportedly been offered a job at a major Russian website, wrote in the German weekly that the spy scandal has provoked “an unprecedented smear campaign” by governments in an effort to intimidate journalists.

The partner of former Guardian reporter Glenn Greenwald, David Miranda, had been detained for nine hours at Heathrow Airport in August under an obscure UK terrorism act.

The act was invoked, according to court documents seen by the Guardian newspaper, because Miranda was promoting a “political or ideological cause.”

The UK government had also threatened an injunction against the paper unless it destroyed NSA documents it had in its possession.

So-called prior restraint laws in the UK were invoked to make the Guardian to destroy laptops containing the files even though copies were held elsewhere.

Last week, UK Prime Minister David Cameron threatened further government action should the newspaper not demonstrate greater social responsibility.

The UK actions and Cameron’s recent veiled threats prompted around 70 of the world’s leading human rights organisations to write a joint letter to the prime minister.

The open letter, published on Sunday in the Guardian, denounces Cameron’s tactics and his government’s reactions to the NSA scandal.

The letter states that national security cannot justify preventing disclosures of wrongdoing “no matter how embarrassing such disclosures may be to the UK or other governments.”

It notes that a “presumption of in favour of freedom of expression requires governments to demonstrate that the expression will actually harm national security; it is not sufficient to simply say that it will.”

The tone in Washington DC is different.

The US has rejected any notion of clemency for Snowden.

Senior White House officials on Sunday said the whistleblower should return to the US to face charges after he leaked a large cache of NSA documents to the Washington Post and The Guardian.

Democratic senator Dianne Feinstein told CBS in an interview that the House intelligence committee would have heard out Snowden had he approached them before leaking the documents.

“That didn't happen, and now he's gone and done this enormous disservice to our country. And I think the answer is no clemency,” she said.

EU agency to fight election hacking

A new-model EU cybersecurity agency could help states defend their elections against "hybrid attacks", the Commission has said.

EU monitoring Cyprus passport sales

The European Commission has said it is in a "dialogue" with Cyprus amid concerns on loopholes in its passport sale scheme.

EU intelligence agency not a priority

Julian King, the EU commissioner for security, says talk of an EU intelligence agency would be a distraction from more pressing coounter-terrorism work.

EU seeks new rules on internal border checks

EU migration commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos said EU rules that allow states to impose internal border checks are being reformed, with a proposal set to be announced.

Feature

Nine lines that changed history - at least on the internet

Google has removed 800,000 search results across the EU following complaints from citizens, without the public knowing what has been removed, why it was removed or who complained. We revisit the case that rewrote history online.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. EU2017EEFour Tax Initiatives to Modernise the EU's Tax System
  2. Dialogue PlatformResponsibility in Practice: Gulen & Islamic Thought
  3. Counter BalanceHuman Rights Concerns Over EIB Loan to the Trans Anatolian Pipeline Project
  4. Mission of China to the EUChina Leads the Global Clean Energy Transition
  5. CES - Silicones EuropeFrom Baking Moulds to Oven Mitts, Silicones Are a Key Ingredient in Kitchens
  6. Martens CentreFor a New Europeanism: How to Put the Motto "Unity in Diversity" Into Practice
  7. Access MBAGet Ahead With an MBA Degree. Top MBA Event in Brussels
  8. Idealist QuarterlyIdealist Quarterly Event: Building Fearless Democracies With Gerald Hensel
  9. Mission of China to the EUPresident Xi Urges Bigger Global Role for Emerging Economies
  10. EU2017EEAre We Socially Insured in the Future of Work?
  11. European Jewish CongressFrench Authorities to Root Out "Societal Antisemitism" After Jewish Family Assaulted
  12. European Federation of Local Energy CompaniesClean Energy for All? On 10.10 Top-Level Speakers Present the Clean Energy Package