Nov 04, 2013
The ongoing revelations of the National Security Agency's dragnet surveillance practices are "causing society to push for political reforms, oversight and new laws," writes whistleblower Edward Snowden in an open letter titled "A Manifesto for the Truth" in which he calls for continued international action against the worst offenders of global privacy infringement.
The letter, published in German in the news magazine Der Spiegel on Sunday, highlights how Snowden's leaks have spawned a crucial debate on the NSA and other surveillance agencies' tactics, and calls for continued international pressure against such governmental overreach.
"We have a moral duty to ensure that our laws and values limit surveillance programs and protect human rights," Snowden writes in the letter reportedly penned in Moscow on Friday.
"While the NSA and GCHQ (the British national security agency) appear to be the worst offenders -- at least according to the documents that are currently public," he writes, "we cannot forget that mass surveillance is a global problem and needs a global solution."
That solution, according to Snowden, is now possible due to increasing public awareness.
Despite a "never before seen witch hunt" that threatens journalists who expose such governmental wrongdoings, Snowden writes, the NSA leaks have already improved public awareness and will continue to promote citizen based reform.
"Instead of causing damage, the usefulness of the new public knowledge for society is now clear because reforms to politics, supervision and laws are being suggested," he wrote.
"Citizens have to fight against the suppression of information about affairs of essential importance for the public," a translation by Reuters reads. "Those who speak the truth are not committing a crime."
"The world has learned a lot in a short amount of time about irresponsibly operated security agencies and, at times, criminal surveillance programs," he wrote. "The debate they wanted to avoid is now taking place in countries around the world."
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