The initial draft of the report of the European Parliament's inquiry into the mass surveillance of European citizens will today be presented and debated in the EP's civil liberties and home affairs committee. Ahead of the presentation, MEPs finally agreed to invite whistleblower Edward Snowden to address the inquiry and answer MEPs' questions. Commenting on the developments, Green justice and home affairs spokesperson Jan Philipp Albrecht stated:
"MEPs today provided some welcome clarity on the invitation of Edward Snowden to address the European Parliament, finally giving the green light after months of prevaricating on this Green proposal. In inviting the central witness in the NSA scandal, the European Parliament is sending an important signal to the world. Unfortunately, given the uncertainty as regards Snowden's stay in Russia, it seems more and more unlikely that a live video interview will be possible. Against this background, the European Parliament should take a clear stance on the need to grant witness protection to Snowden and call on EU member states to facilitate this, thereby ensuring Snowden can safely address this important inquiry.
"The draft report of the inquiry to be presented today contains a number of important demands directed at the European Commission, member states and the US. The European Parliament must draw clear conclusions about the mass surveillance of European citizens and the draft report, presented today, should not be watered down. On the contrary, there is a need to strengthen it with clearer demands for stronger control of the collection and evaluation of private data and personal communications. This includes setting a good framework for privacy-friendly technologies, such as for encryption and the right to be anonymous."
The final vote is foreseen for 23 January. The draft report and related documents can be found at http://www.europarl.europa.eu/committees/en/draft-reports.html?linkedDocument=true&ufolderComCode=LIBE&ufolderLegId=7&ufolderId=13778&urefProcYear=&urefProcNum=&urefProcCode=#documents <xml> Normal 0 false false false EN-GB X-NONE X-NONE </xml>