European Lawmakers Vote in Support of Edward Snowden

30 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

EU hails Snowden as ‘human rights defender’.

Edward Snowden is still stuck in Russia more than two years after revealing that the U.S. government engaged in mass surveillance on tens millions of innocent Americans. US intelligence whistleblower Edward Snowden has hailed a European Parliament vote urging EU member states to take him in and offer protection as an “extraordinary” gesture of support.US traitor Edward Snowden could be given asylum in Europe after MEPs yesterday hailed him as a ‘human rights defender’ and offered protection against criminal charges in America. If he returns to the United States he still faces the prospect of prison, unlike national-security officials who tortured or violated the law by secretly spying on their countrymen, or who have themselves leaked highly classified national-security information. They agreed by just four votes: 285 to 281 – to drop all criminal charges against the man whose leak of secret material has helped terrorists escape and was likened to telling the Nazis about the Allies’ Enigma code-breaking project.

Snowden has been living in exile in Russia since June 2013 and faces US charges of espionage and theft of state property which could put him in jail for 30 years. Snowden’s lawyers have noted that he would be forbidden from arguing at trial that he acted in the public interest when passing the truth about the NSA to Laura Poitras, Glenn Greenwald, and Barton Gellman. He says he was doing his duty as a citizen by informing others about the surveillance programs which scooped up massive amounts of personal data in the name of national security. His detractors note that he passed on an unknown quantity of other secrets too, and that it’s possible that foreign spy agencies have seen them as a result.

The computer specialist was working at an intelligence centre in Hawaii in 2013 when he tricked colleagues into handing over passwords so he could copy 1.7million files in one of the biggest leaks in US history. On Tuesday Richard Ledgett, the current deputy director of the US National Security Agency, denied Snowden had raised issues about surveillance programmes when he was working for the agency. Despite Ukip not voting on the motion, a spokesman for the party said: ‘The EU has laid no charges, the European Parliament has no place pontificating outside its brief.

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