14 July 2014 - 8:18am | posted by

Snowden speaks out against emergency surveillance bill

Snowden speaks out against emergency surveillance billSnowden speaks out against emergency surveillance bill

Renegade NSA whistle-blower Edward Snowden has spoken out against an emergency surveillance bill currently being pushed through the British parliament, after voicing reservations about the speed at which the measure is being pushed through parliament and the corresponding lack of public debate.

Speaking to the Guardian from his Moscow bolthole Snowden compared the bill to the controversial Protect America Act, pushed through in the US in 2007 – then justified on the grounds of the increased terror threat.

David Cameron has claimed that the bill is not the thin end of a surveillance wedge but Snowden warned against accepting "new authorities immediately without any debate, just taking their word for it, despite the fact that these exact same authorities were just declared unlawful by the European court of justice".

Snowden continued: "Is it really going to be so costly for us to take a few days to debate where the line should be drawn about the authority and what really serves the public interest?

"If these surveillance authorities are so interested, so invasive, the courts are actually saying they violate fundamental rights, do we really want to authorise them on a new, increased and more intrusive scale without any public debate?"

The intervention is unlikely to have much impact on MPs however, many of whom are wary of supporting a fugitive.

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