Today marks the tenth anniversary of the day Edward Snowden revealed the mass surveillance programmes of intelligence agencies worldwide. EU lawmaker and privacy activist Patrick Breyer (Pirate Party) acknowledges this milestone as a key moment for the right to privacy and the defence of fundamental rights. At the same time, he calls for protecting the anonymity and encryption that whistleblowers need to expose such abuses of power.
Breyer comments, “For the Pirate Party, Edward Snowden is a hero: By revealing the mass surveillance practices of the U.S. intelligence agency NSA and its partners, he selflessly defended the privacy of all and sacrificed his freedom. Even today he relentlessly fights for our fundamental right to privacy.
The future of privacy is the central question of power in the age of mass surveillance and surveillance capitalism. Knowledge is power, and absolute knowledge is absolute power. I am ashamed that Snowden has so far only found protection from persecution in authoritarian Russia because Western governments are too cowardly to stand up to the U.S. and offer him the safe refuge he deserves.”
Most recently Snowden sounded the alarm about the EU‘s chat control plan („child sexual abuse regulation“) as a “planetary, machine-enforced restriction of basic human liberty” and questioned the EU’s transformation into an „authoritarian cabal“. Breyer comments: “Revelations by whistleblowers are to this day often only possible under the protection of anonymity and using secure communication channels. Chat control threatens to destroy our digital secrecy of correspondence, making secure leaks impossible. The Pirate movement is therefore fighting against this globally unprecedented attack on the security of our smartphones and communications.”
Breyer concludes by pointing out the importance of the EU‘s ePrivacy reform, by which the the European Parliament wants to make private communications encrypted by default to prevent interception and eavesdropping by foreign intelligence intelligence services.