There are no legal means to challenge US mass surveillance – Snowden

Tuesday, April 8, 2014
By Paul Martin

Voiceofrussia.com
8 April 2014

No legal means exist to challenge mass surveillance, says NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden testifying before the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe’s (PACE) parliamentary hearing on the matter.

Former NSA contractor, Snowden is speaking before the PACE session in Strasbourg via a video-link from Moscow, RT reports.
Wanted in the US on treason charges, he sparked a huge international scandal last year he leaked to the media classified evidence of American government spying programs.
Wanted in the US on treason charges, he sparked a huge international scandal last year he leaked to the media classified evidence of American government spying programs.
According to Snowden, any kind of traffic can be analyzed and searched with little effort.
The technique can be used to identify a person with a certain social or religious group and business interactions. Using this technology, NSA can also make a list of home addresses of people who match a certain criteria.
Snowden added, however, that there are no “nightmare scenarios” where the US government would, for instance, fingerprint all gay people. However, they can follow law violators as well as those where just had the bad luck to follow a wrong link on the internet, he said.
The NSA gathered “explicit sexual material regarding religious conservatives whose political views it disfavored and considered radical for the purpose of exposing it to damage their reputations and discredit them within their communities,” Snowden told PACE.
“This is an unprecedented form of political interference that I don’t believe can be seen elsewhere in western governments,” he added. “But no legal means currently exist to challenge such activities or to see penalties for such abuses,” he stated.
Mass surveillance is also used by the NSA, as well as by its partners and adversaries, for the purposes of economic espionage, Snowden said.
“The NSA had unlawfully compromised the world’s major transaction facilities to include SWIFT and Visa. And in their reports they explicitly noted that such information provided “rich personal information” including data that “is not about our targets,” Snowden told the parliamentarians gathered in Strasbourg, RT reports.

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