Edward Snowden may be the star witness in EU’s NSA inquiry

He may still be stuck in Russia, but his words and image have been invited to the highest halls of European politics.

Mar 2, 2020, 11:30 am*

Tech

 

Kevin Collier

Edward Snowden may be stuck in Russia, but his digital image has been invited to Europe’s highest political halls.

Claude Moraes, a Member of the European Parliament from London who’s leading the EU’s inquiry into the National Security Agency’s practice of surveilling Europeans, formally invited the whistleblower on Thursday.

That inquiry is, to be sure, a legal quagmire, one that’s straining international relations between the U.S. and its allies in Europe. The EU has clear privacy laws that the NSA‘s programs, revealed by Snowden, a former contractor, would seem to violate. President Obama has previously stated that while some of Americans’ communications are legally protected from any government spying, the NSA’s “not constrained by laws” when operating “outside our borders.”

Snowden, who’s living in a secret location in Russia as part of a year-long asylum agreement, is still wanted by the U.S. With travel being something of an issue for him, Moraes has invited him to receive question from MEPs and pre-record video answers about NSA spying programs.

“These questions will be rigorous and fair and will touch on many of the issues that most citizens would want to ask of the person who has been the source of the unprecedented historic set of allegations which have changed the landscape in relation to privacy, security, data protection and some aspects of the relationship between the European Union and the U.S.” Moraes said.

It wasn’t possible to immediately, independently confirm that Snowden had agreed to participate, though he has accepted a few visitors in Russia.

Illustration by Jason Reed

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*First Published: Dec 12, 2013, 4:57 pm