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Snowden calls for international agreement to prevent data surveillance

Demands for establishment of a set of ‘common standards’ to defend against mass surveillance of global citizens.

By CBR Staff Writer

Ex-NSA contractor Edward Snowden has called for a global pact to thwart widespread surveillance programmes.

The whistleblower sought for establishment of a set of ‘common standards’ in order to defend against mass surveillance of citizens across the world similar to the one carried out by the US intelligence agency.

Snowden’s conversation with the Council of Europe in Strasbourg was cited by AFP as saying that he believed the international community should agree to new common standards of behaviour, perhaps a Convention on mass surveillance.

"We need to develop international standards to protect against the routine and substantial abuse of this technology, abuses that are ongoing today," he added.

"This is not just a problem for the United States and the European Union: this is in fact a global problem."

Snowden, who currently resides in Moscow upon being granted asylum by Russia, also added that the NSA not only used the surveillance system to prevent terrorism, while also to ‘follow people, even for non-violent offences’ and ‘without the issue of any judicial warrant’.

The whistleblower also added that the data was used in Europe to keep an eye on citizens, intercept and monitor their travel, who were not suspected of anything.

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"It’s very difficult to achieve revolutionary change overnight, particularly on the topic of human rights," Snowden added.

"The key is we made incredible progress.

"Every citizen who had not even heard about these technologies is now talking about them.

"The fact that people are now aware… is worth everything that happened."

Meanwhile, the European Court of Justice has ruled the 2006 Data Retention Directive retroactively ‘invalid’, which governed phone calls and electronic data, as it was inconsistent and highly-intrusive.

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