Edward Snowden has testified at the EU parliament in writing to written questions. The pdf file can be found here. As expected he referred in some detail only to what has been püublished already by journalists. When having been asked by Greens Group member Jan Philipp Albrecht of Germany, “Could we help you in any way, and do you seek asylum in the EU?,” he responded,
“If you want to help me, help me by helping everyone: declare that the indiscriminate, bulk collection of private data by governments is a violation of our rights and must end. What happens to me as a person is less important than what happens to our common rights.” (Emphasis added.)
It is not about Snowden. Due to his courage we all got a tiny chance to get mass surveillance, a global panopticon, Orwellian persecution of “thoughtcrimes”, once and forever stopped.
As for asylum, Snowden writes,
“[...], I do seek EU asylum, but I have yet to receive a positive response to the requests I sent to various EU member states. Parliamentarians in the national governments have told me that the US, and I quote, ‘will not allow’ EU partners to offer political asylum to me, which is why the previous resolution on asylum ran into such mysterious opposition. I would welcome any offer of safe passage or permanent asylum, but I recognize that would require an act of extraordinary political courage.”
It is not so clear whether the United States “won’t allow EU partners to offer” Snowden asylum or whether certain EU countries (not the UK) have to ponder pro and cons of a transatlantic crisis. But someone has to do it. What kind of sanctions would be imposed if Snowden would get asylum and a new identity in Germany? After Chancellor Angela Merkel’s “handy” and mobile phones of members of her Cabinet were tapped by NSA? After continuing education courses, conducted by NSA’s British counterpart GCHQ, on how to discredit targets by abusing internet tools.
We need to understand that claims that mass surveillance is for safety is nonsense. After all, not a single terrorist attack after 9-11 had been prevented by mass surveillance, as Snowden repeats in his introduction. Quite the opposite.
One rapporteur, apparently from the UK, eventually asked the misleading question, “Do you still plan to release more files, and have you disclosed or been asked to disclose any information regarding the content of these files to Chinese and Russian authorities or any names contained within them?”, still not realizing that Snowden is no longer in the possession of the files.8 March 2014 @ 6:07 pm. Last modified March 8, 2014.