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    Alexandra Bruce
    June 20, 2014

    This clip is of Government Accountability Project Attorney, Jesselyn Radack reading from Edward Snowden’s statement before the European Parliament Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs, on September 30, 2013 on the topic of NSA’s Mass Surveillance of EU Citizens.

    Below is the transcript of that statement:

    “I thank the European Parliament and the League Committee for taking up the challenge of mass surveillance.

    “The mass surveillance of whole populations, rather than of 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 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 into public hands has been persecution and exile.

    “If we are to enjoy such debates in the future, we cannot rely on 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, who are remembering that if a public is prevented from knowing how they are being governed, the necessary result is that they’re no longer self-governing. And we see a 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.”

    – Edward Snowden

    P.S. See also NSA Whistleblower, Thomas Drake’s testimony before the EU Parliament Committee:


    Follow the Government Accountability Project on Twitter @GovAcctProj

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