Politics, archive

Edward Snowden to address French public

NSA whistleblower to make his first public appearance in France by video conference

09.12.2014
Edward Snowden to address French public

PARIS

 NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden is to address the French public for the first time on Wednesday.

Speaking from Russia where he was granted asylum, Snowden will make his first public appearance in France by video conference as part of Amnesty International's celebration of the International Day of Human Rights. 

The former American intelligence analyst will take part in a discussion on the subject of "data monitoring and respect for private life".

Snowden, 31, has been hailed as a hero around the world for exposing the mass global illegal surveillance activities employed by the U.S.' National Security Agency and UK's GCHQ communications monitoring center.

His leaked files revealed that NSA and GCHQ have spied on phone conversations of several International leaders from Germany, Turkey, China and Russia.

Snowden's leaks have scandalized Americans and Europeans but have led to little action by governments to rein in the activities of their intelligence-gathering services.

Mass surveillance 'unjustified'

In the U.S., he is is wanted for "espionage, theft and conversion of government property".

The Commissioner for Human Rights at the Council of Europe, Nils Muižnieks, warned on Monday that mass surveillance conducted by intelligence agencies, including the UK's, could not be justified by the so-called "fight against terrorism".

A survey of more than 23,000 people in 24 countries released last month by Canadian research group Centre for International Governance Innovation found that. while 62 percent of Americans were more concerned about online privacy than they were a year ago, only about a third have done anything to better protect their data.

Half of the Europeans surveyed were concerned about their data online, and 29 percent have taken any steps to improve their online security.   

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